Prevention cash fails to dent demand

Investment in adult mental health services increased by 3 per cent last year but the extra resources for new community teams have not yet reduced the need for in-patient care.

An independent analysis commissioned by the Department of Health has revealed that adult mental health spending in England rose by £149m in 2005-6 to £4.9bn.

Allowing for inflation, this represents a 3 per cent increase on 2004-5 and a 25 per cent rise since 2001-2.

Spending on assertive outreach, crisis resolution and early intervention has increased by 205m since 2001-2 but spending on clinical services also rose by 10 per cent.

Simon Lawton-Smith, senior fellow in mental health at the King’s Fund, applauded the investment but said he was surprised the spending on preventive services had not yet affected demand for in-patient care.

He also criticised the “paltry” 3m spent last year on mental health promotion – less than 0.1 per cent of the total mental health budget.

The 2005/06 National Survey of Investment in Mental Health Services from  

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