Winterton seeks funding answers

Health minister Rosie Winterton has written to strategic health authorities in England to find out the extent of the financial pressures faced by mental health services.

The move follows a call for a national investigation into mental health funding by charity Rethink, which has uncovered major cuts or proposed cuts to mental health services in at least 17 SHAs. In some areas these could be up to 3m as SHAs tackle debts and overspent budgets.

Rethink senior campaigns officer Lucy Widenka said Winterton’s move showed the government was taking the cuts seriously. “There’s a huge amount of money promised for mental health and if it is not reaching where it’s supposed to reach, that is a major problem,” she said.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “We listened to Rethink’s concerns about the financial pressures and have written to all SHAs to clarify what the position is across the country.”

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