Response to Budget 2017

Statement / comment
08 March 2017
Professor Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “Despite repeated promises of additional funding for mental health, colleagues tell me they aren’t seeing that money reaching the frontline. Much of the crisis in our NHS mental health service can be traced back to cuts in social care, so this is an area that needs extensive investment.

“The Prime Minister has said that it is a burning injustice that too many people are not able to access mental health treatment. Following today’s announcement, I hope she will ensure that those with mental health problems benefit from the extra £2bn in social care funds, to show that she is willing to put the investment in to tackle this injustice.”

“The number of days that mental health patients have been stuck in hospital beds have increased by 39% in the last year with just under half of those due to a lack of social care provisions. The average bed occupancy rate on inpatient mental health wards is 104%. This is wasting millions of pounds that the NHS simply can’t afford and slowing patients’ recovery.”

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Dr Peter Aitken, Chair of the Liaison Psychiatry Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: The government has budgeted £100m of capital for 100 new triage projects at English hospitals in time for next winter. This is a welcome step in the right direction, but considering that those attending A&E with psychiatric conditions has risen 77% percent since 2010/11, it is essential that these new projects are equipped to treat mental health conditions, and ensure that GPs involved are adequately trained in mental health.

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