Two-fold difference in mental health spend across England

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, it has been revealed that there is nearly a two-fold difference in mental health spending across England.

Mind, the mental health charity, has analysed investment across 42 NHS regions and found that the differences in spend were significant and would affect the quality of care but, despite the variation, spending was still rising everywhere.

Surrey Heartlands was found to have spent the least - £124 per person last year - compared with South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, which spent more than £220.

The analysis by Mind showed all areas were increasing their mental health budgets in line with the overall increase in spending - part of a requirement set by the senior leadership in the NHS. But that masked the big variations that still existed, according to the projected spending levels in 2018-19.

With mental health in line to get £2.3 billion of the extra £20 billion pledged for the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the charity says that as the extra money started to become available, local areas needed to address funding levels.

Mind’s Geoff Heyes said: "The treatment you get shouldn't depend on where you live. The NHS and government have made it clear that mental health is a priority. Some local variation is to be expected but the scale of the difference is huge and we know that the need outstrips resource even in the areas that are performing well."

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