MENTAL health campaigner Angela Rayner MP is demanding that major cuts to services are immediately reversed.
The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, who is Patron of the Labour Mental Health campaign, has written to health bosses throughout Greater Manchester demanding an improvement in mental health services, instead of cuts.
The demand follows new information which shows that local spending on mental health services is set to be cut this year.
That’s despite the Government promising to ensure that local mental health spending increases.
Data obtained by Labour shows that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), who hold the purse strings, are cutting their spending on mental health services compared with last year.
It shows that:
- Central Manchester CCG is cutting spending from 15.98 per cent to 15.20.
- North Manchester CCG is cutting spending from 15.36 per cent to 14.36.
- South Manchester CCG is cutting spending from 12.41 per cent to 11.60.
- Stockport CCG is cutting spending from 8.51 per cent to 8.23.
- Bury CCG is cutting spending from 9.83 per cent to 8.81.
- Wigan CCG is cutting spending from 8.13 per cent to 7.43.
- Tameside and Glossop CCG is cutting spending from 8.43 per cent to 8.38.
- Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG is cutting spending from 10.07 per cent to 10.04.
- Bolton CCG is cutting spending from 9.83 per cent to 9.54.
- Oldham CCG is cutting spending from 9.42 per cent to 9.23.
Figures for Trafford and Salford are not available because they have not responded to a Freedom of Information request for the figures.
The Government has stated that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) should increase spending on mental health in 2015/16.
Angela Rayner MP said: “These percentage figures may seem small in some cases, but they represent hundreds of thousands of pounds which are being cut from multi-million pound budgets. That means fewer therapists working with people who have mental health problems, fewer acute beds and fewer services. It is very worrying.
“While the Government says spending on mental health services should be increased it is actually being seriously cut in Greater Manchester.
“It clear that local CCGs plan to spend less of their budget on mental health services this year.
“This is despite them pledging to treat mental health the same as physical health problems. Their rhetoric bears no relationship to reality.
“I am now demanding that they reverse these cuts and improve our struggling mental health services. Without an increase some of the most vulnerable patients in our community will be left suffering without the help they need.
”And without extra spending, mental health problems in our communities will only increase – which will be an even bigger drain on our NHS. It is a false economy."
Angela added: “I am now writing to local health chiefs in every CCG in Greater Manchester demanding an explanation of these cuts, together with details of exactly how much will be cut from mental health services locally.
"I also want to know what they are doing to meet their commitment to ensure that mental health services are treated the same as physical health problems - that they have parity, at the very least.
"Altogether, I estimate the cuts in local mental health services are well over £1million. That means fewer therapists, fewer beds - and less help for people who badly need it."
● NHS England’s planning guidance, Forward View into action: planning for 2015-16, set the expectation that clinical commissioning groups’ (CCG) spending on mental health services in 2015/16 should increase by at least as much as each CCG’s allocation increase to support the ambition of parity of esteem between mental and physical health. http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/forward-view-plning.pdf
● Ministers have repeatedly stated in parliamentary questions that they would ensure CCG spending on mental health increases in 2015/16.
● Public Health England estimates for proportion of population aged 16-74 estimated to have a common mental health disorder in each Clinical Commissioning Group in Greater Manchester can be found here:
● A study from London School of Economics in 2012 found that only 13 per cent of NHS funds were spent on mental health in 2010/11. This is widely seen as inadequate compared to its share of burden of disease (23 per cent). http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/special/cepsp26.pdf
● The Health Service Journal revealed this week that the Department of Health has admitted it will fall £107m short of its promised £250m additional investment this year in children’s mental health services. http://www.hsj.co.uk/news/nhs-england-expects-150m-rise-in-mental-health-spending/5089700.article?blocktitle=More-headlines&contentID=7838#.VdS-U7J3ldg