Funding Figures Suggest Mental Health Budgets Continue To Be Cut


The Law Of... ensuring patients get access to the right treatment

Figures from a health care think tank have suggested that mental health trusts across England are continuing to see their budgets cut.

The Law Of... ensuring patients get access to the right treatment

The King's Fund have found that 40% of mental health trusts have seen their real-world operating income fall in the last year, despite a government commitment that mental health funding would run parallel to physical healthcare budgets.

Discussing the important work completed by mental health trusts, Anna Thompson – Personal Injury Associate – explains why many injuries result in psychological trauma that takes longer to heal than physical injuries.

Fall In Operating Income

The King's Fund's report showed that 23 of the 58 mental health trusts in England had seen their operating income fall between 2014/15 and 2015/16. 6 trusts have had their budgets cut for three consecutive years.

In response to the figures, an NHS spokesperson told the BBC that mental health care extended beyond trusts and that mental health services had been funded in other ways, with overall mental health spending increasing by 8.4% in 2015/16 when compared to the previous year.

The 58 mental health trusts in England studied by the King's Fund deliver around 80% of mental health care to patients across the country.

NHS England made a commitment to achieve genuine parity of esteem, meaning that services are given equal priority, between mental and physical health provisions by 2020.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 enshrined parity of esteem into law; however since then figures from the King's Fund suggest that a large number of mental health trusts have continued to see their operating income decrease.

NHS England have claimed that almost 90% of plans submitted by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) reflect the mandated increases in mental health spending, however it is believed that the disparity between planned investment and real-world spending could be down to the large deficits faced by acute trusts, which could have siphoned some planned spending on mental health trusts.

Seeking The Correct Care

Mental health trusts provide health and social care services to patients with mental health problems. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year.

Due to the debilitating nature of mental health problems, it is vital that sufferers can access to the specific care and treatment.

Mental health problems can be triggered by a traumatic experience or event and many people involved in an accident can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

Anna explains that many of her clients suffer from a mental health problem after an accident:

"After an accident, many clients suffer psychological injuries and PTSD, depression, and anxiety is common, with people questioning why they have been involved in an, often terrifying, incident."

"In many cases, the psychological injuries sustained after an accident can be more severe than the physical injuries sustained and must be treated as such."

"The fall in funding for mental health trusts is a grave concern, especially as these services are vital for long-term sufferers and a lack of funding could give rise to negligent care."

"In instances of mental health problems arising after an accident, we are often able to arrange private treatment, including psychological care. Generally speaking, private healthcare can offer treatment a lot quicker than the NHS and allows those suffering with a mental health problem after an accident to come to terms with their injuries, both physical and psychological."

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