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Mental health trusts missing out on crucial funding, King’s Fund warns

Vital funding to improve mental health care in England is not reaching front-line services, according to King’s Fund analysis.

Vital funding to improve mental health care in England is not reaching front-line services where it is most needed, according to an analysis by the Kings Fund.

The think tank reviewed the annual accounts of all 58 mental health trusts in England, which showed that 40% saw their income fall in 2015-16.

The Kings Fund claims that NHS England made it clear to clinical commissioning groups that it expected an increase in mental health funding in 2015-16.

Raising doubt

The analysis also queries whether recommendations published by the Mental Health Taskforce earlier this year, including increased investment in crisis intervention services, can be achieved.

A recent Kings Fund survey of NHS finance directors found that 40% of respondents from mental health and community trusts plan to reduce the number of permanent clinical staff over the coming year.

Worrying situation

Author of

Vital funding to improve mental health care in England is not reaching front-line services where it is most needed, according to an analysis by the King’s Fund.

The think tank reviewed the annual accounts of all 58 mental health trusts in England, which showed that 40% saw their income fall in 2015-16.

The King’s Fund claims that NHS England made it clear to clinical commissioning groups that it expected an increase in mental health funding in 2015-16.

Raising doubt

The analysis also queries whether recommendations published by the Mental Health Taskforce earlier this year, including increased investment in crisis intervention services, can be achieved.

A recent King’s Fund survey of NHS finance directors found that 40% of respondents from mental health and community trusts plan to reduce the number of permanent clinical staff over the coming year.

‘Worrying’ situation

Author of the analysis Helen Gilburt, a fellow in policy at the King’s Fund, said: ‘The fact that the planned increases in funding for mental health have not materialised in trust finances in so many areas is worrying, because there is an urgent need for investment.

‘Many of the pressures in mental health are being seen in areas of care where patients are most vulnerable.’

The King’s Fund analysis can be viewed here

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