“As demand, quite rightly, grows for high quality, publicly-funded mental health services, this week’s news about what amounts to a two per cent cut in mental health funding is bad news for patients, their families and society” is the stark message from Care UK’s managing director of mental health services.
Care UK runs a number of highly regarded facilities and is investing in new residential services in places like Hull and Walsall which are already delivering amazing results for patients with long term mental health conditions.
Dr Alison Rose-Quirie said: “These cutbacks are completely at odds with the way this government talks about how it wants to give the same importance to mental health services and recovery as it does to physical health. Patients and their families are already living with a significant historic lack of investment in mental health services and this is going to make the situation worse not better.”
On top of the recent cutbacks in funding, Monitor is also recommending a further 1.9% reduction in rates the NHS will pay for all health services for 2014/15.
Dr Rose-Quirie continued: “Like other providers of mental health services, we understand the severity of pressures on the NHS we’ve worked hard to find ways of delivering even greater efficiencies but there is little more we can do without it having an impact on services.”
Care UK believes that investing in services which help people to recover from their mental illness should be viewed as a wise investment which leads to cost savings elsewhere in public services. Talking about this investment, Dr Rose-Quirie concluded “Proper sustained recovery from mental health conditions gets people back into work, they can live independently in the community rather than in hospitals and it can even prevent some people from ending up in prison. Society can’t afford not to invest in mental health.”