17th Dec, 2018

Concerns raised after mental health funding cut by £20million in past five years

CONCERNS have been raised after it was revealed local mental health funding has been cut by nearly £20million.

The Royal College of Psyciatrists says Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT) is one of nine mental health trusts across the UK to suffer a year-on-year decline in its income. In the past five years the trust has seen its income fall by nearly £20million. This leaves the sector with £200million to spend on mental health services each year.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western is now calling for better funding for mental health services in the area.

He said: “I want people to be able to get the best possible mental health treatment when they need it, and where they need it. I am calling on government to fund our mental health services properly.

“For our local mental health trust to have had their funding cut every year for five years goes completely against government’s plans to properly fund mental health services. This news comes as demand for services soars, with some trusts saying a lack of funds has forced them to cut services.”

The College of Psyciatrists say more people than ever now need mental health services and the sector was receiving ‘inadequate’ investment.

College president Wendy Burn said: “It is totally unacceptable that when more and more people are coming forward with mental health problems, services are receiving less investment than they did five years ago.

“Patients with mental illness continue to bear the brunt of an underfunded sector experiencing unprecedented demand with limited supply.

“Prioritisation of mental health is about getting the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This can’t happen when mental health services continue to receive inadequate investment.”

But Simon Gilby, chief executive of CWPT, says the organisation was working to ensure there was enough funding to cover mental health services.

He told the Observer: “We are working very closely with our clinical commissioning group colleagues to ensure the right level of funding is available for mental health services across Coventry and Warwickshire.

“There is a national mental health investment standard and there is a joint commitment to matching that level of funding in this area.”

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