Government amendment to Health and Care bill proposes responding to mental health demand through spend reporting

Online news
23 February 2022

Following lobbying by the College, alongside others in the sector, the Government has published an amendment to the Health and Care Bill that will require that the Department of Health and Social Care to report to the Westminster Parliament each year on mental health spending.

The amendments will require the Secretary of State to show:

  • whether there will be an increase in the amount of spending NHS England and integrated care boards (ICBs) on mental health and if there will be an increase in the proportion of spending on mental health spending compared with total expenditure in the previous year
  • how much is being spent on mental health (in total and as a proportion of overall healthcare spending) in the current year by NHS and ICBs and as a proportion of total spending
  • how much each ICB has spent on mental health for the year and the proportion of its total spending it represents.

The Bill will continue be considered by the House of Lords at Report Stage, beginning 1 March and following Third Reading will return to the House of Commons for consideration of the Lords’ amendments before it achieves Royal Assent.

Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

“We’ve worked hard to convince government – and they've listened – that delivering quality mental health care to people who need it depends heavily on being able to regularly review the amount of spending allocated into the system. The amendments tabled today are a vital step towards ensuring that the demand for mental health care is addressed in the face of increasing need. If the amendments are successful, it’s very important that government publishes this information in good time annually to facilitate the planning of services and take action if needed should the commitments not be met. I thank the collaborative effort across the sector and within Parliament that has brought this about."

More information

Find out more about our priorities for mental health care spending.

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