NHS Providers has today released the results of a snapshot survey of mental health trusts about their expectations of the Mental Health Investment Standard (MHIS) being met.
Under the MHIS, local commissioners are required to boost funding for mental health in line with their own budget increases. Contract negotiations for the next two years are due to be completed by 23 December 2016.
Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
“It is unacceptable that as contracting deadlines loom this week, poor local decision making could lead to a failure to adequately invest in mental health services again. Services that are already in a desperate state.
"We remind all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that they are required to meet the Mental Health Investment Standards to ensure that parity of esteem is achieved. If they miss this opportunity, it will have a devastating impact on the services that people receive in the years to come. We need to see strong central and local leadership to avert another year of crisis in mental health funding."
"There must be transparency about how and where local mental health investment is being made. It would be incredibly worrying if mental health investment was being sacrificed so that CCGs can balance their books."
"Mental health has been underfunded for too long with dire consequences for people with mental health problems. People tell us that support is getting harder to access and at the same time demand is increasing. If people don’t get the help they need, when they need it, they are likely to become more unwell and need more intensive – and expensive – support further down the line. Failing to deliver the right care isn’t good for people and it’s not good for the NHS.”