Trusts must wield axe to break even

More than two-thirds of mental health trusts expect to cut staff or services this year to balance their books, research has found.

Trusts expected to receive on average a 3.6 per cent funding increase in 2006-7, before inflation, compared with 7.1 per cent last year, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health survey of finance directors revealed.

Commissioners have asked 63 per cent of trusts to spend 3 per cent less on average than they planned this year and 68 per cent expected to make savings.

Overspending in other local NHS bodies was the most common reason cited for seeking savings, and 70 per cent of trusts believed payment by results in the acute sector was diverting funds from mental health.

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