Government 'must ensure mental health funding goes directly to providers of care'

Government 'must ensure mental health funding goes directly to providers of care'

The government's approach to mental health care funding has been criticised in a new report.

Released by the King's Fund, the publication warned that budget cuts may be putting patients at risk. In a survey, it was revealed just 14 per cent of people believe they received sufficient care following a crisis. 

Some 40 per cent of mental health trusts have suffered budget cuts over the past two years, the report revealed.

Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, claimed the research has shed light on the "institutional bias" that exists within the NHS and local authorities concerning mental health care.

He said that while lip-service has been paid to the importance of the issue, funding has actually decreased. 

"Many commissioners of NHS services don’t have the capacity to do the right thing and fund what work," Mr Dalton stated.

"If this government is serious about prioritising mental health they need to ensure new funding gets directly to providers of care and not channelled through layers of bureaucracy where it is lost," he added.

Other issues highlighted by the report include a lack of available beds for mental health patients, which is leading to a high number of people having out-of-area placements. 

Earlier this month, more than 200 celebrities signed a petition that calls for mental health conditions to be taken as seriously as other health problems. It is part of a campaign launched by former mental health minister Norman Lamb, alongside Alastair Campbell and Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, which wants the government to increase funding in this area.

Actors Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson, both known for their roles in the Harry Potter films, have signed the petition, as well as comedian Frank Skinner, former England international footballer Ian Wright and TV presenter Graham Norton.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.