Mental health funding in the NHS should make changes not just bail out

Claire Murdoch, Chief executive of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, has said that a focus on low level mental health services is needed in order to relieve pressure from the hospitals and the NHS at large.

Last week saw a pledge from David Cameron to boost mental health services by £1bn per year by 2020, and a long anticipated report from an independent taskforce uncovered some unsavoury statistics regarding mental health care in the country.

Murdoch, who is also chair of the Cavendish Square Group, a collaboration of 10 NHS trust chief executives across London who seek to raise awareness of the mental health service, said that “of the £1.8bn of funding pledged during the autumn spending review for 2016-17, [the group] gather that as much as £1.6bn is being targeted at helping acute trusts to deal with their financial and clinical challenges, rather than being invested in transforming community and mental health services.”

She feels that the key to helping deal with the insufficient mental health care in the country lies in funding the lower level health care initiatives, to help deal with problems quickly, when they arise, without letting things spiral out of control. Just bailing out the mental health system isn’t going to cut it, she implies, when fundamental changes are needed.

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