A new report has suggested that the government has failed to fulfil its pledge to invest more money in mental health in the UK.
And the reason for this is cited as being one of organisation rather than ethos.
The NHS is failing to pass the money on to the NHS trusts that treat patients, according to research conducted by NHS Providers and the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
It is asserted by the organisation that care for those who require psychological assistance will suffer unless this chasm is addressed rapidly.
A further concern regarding this information is that the existing mental health situation will undermine a historic change to this aspect of healthcare which was instigated back in 2012.
This compelled the NHS in England to give physical and mental health equal priority or “parity of esteem”, whereas physical conditions had previously been given some preference.
Yet although mental health problems account for around 28% of the total burden of disease in the UK, addressing the issue only accounts for 13% of the overall NHS budget.
While it may be inappropriate for these two figures to be entirely equal, the current disparity does seem somewhat disproportionate.
And the NHS Providers and the Healthcare Financial Management Association found that only half of mental health trusts they contacted had received a real-terms increase in their budgets in 2015-16.
Yet despite the obvious funding problems related to mental health, only 25% expect NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups to increase the value of their contracts in the forthcoming financial year.
This is despite the fact that Clinical Commissioning Groups have been granted an average 3.4% increase in budgets.
Saffron Cordery, director of policy at NHS Providers, stated that there are clear problems with the delivery of mental health services, and it is an area in which the government must gain traction as quickly as possible.
“Mental health services in this country have suffered from decades of underinvestment, with people experiencing mental health problems often getting worse care than those with physical problems. Despite pledges from the government to address this, our survey shows that promised funding simply isn’t getting through to local mental health services.”
Luciana Berger, the shadow minister for mental health, was critical of the government policy towards mental health, indicating her belief that it has been fundamentally flawed.
“This report confirms that this Tory government has failed to deliver its pledge of increased funding for mental health services. At a time of rising demand, staffing shortages and reports of widespread inadequate care, it is utterly appalling that half of mental health services did not receive the increase in their budgets they were promised.”