In March 2017, The Royal College of Psychiatrists analysed data from the second Five Year Forward View for Mental Health Dashboard published by NHS England.
We found that of the 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) areas, four were planning to invest a smaller proportion of their funding on mental health care in 2016-17 than in 2015-16.
This was despite the fact that mental health is supposed to be the “golden thread” that runs through the STP plans.
Those STPs were: Dorset; Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Luton; Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West; and Northamptonshire.
The best STP was planning to invest 14.89% more in mental health as a proportion of the increase in its total budget, while the worst was intending to invest 1.55% less.
In each STP area there are a number of groups of GP surgeries, which buy healthcare services. Our STP percentage change figures are based on the average of the comparable figures for each CCG in that STP area - if one CCG performs particularly well or badly it can set the tone for the whole area.
For example, the worst-performing STP (Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Luton) has 3 CCGs, two of which were planning to invest more in mental health in 2016-17. But because the third had planned to spend significantly less on mental health, the STP as a whole was in negative territory.
Notes on sources
The spending data was drawn from the Mental Health Five Year Forward View Dashboard published by NHS England in February 2017 accessed on 1 June 2018.