MPs say services are soft target for cuts

Mental health services are a “soft target” for NHS savings, says a report by MPs.

The Commons health select committee found that nearly two-thirds of mental health trusts had been asked to reduce their  spending plans in 2006-7 as a result of NHS deficits.

The report said there had been a reduction in acute mental health beds and a decline in the number of teams set up under the National Service Framework for Mental Health.

MPs blamed the deficits on mismanagement in the NHS and added that the cuts were “being used to subsidise other parts of the health service going into overspend.”

In evidence given to the committee’s inquiry into NHS deficits, Hertfordshire partnership trust revealed cuts of 11 per cent to psychology services, while the Royal College of Psychiatrists said £16.5m had been cut from planned funding to 11 mental health trusts.

Mental health charity Rethink told the committee that more than £30m had been cut from mental health services in 30 different areas of England.

A spokesperson for Rethink said: “This report highlights a shocking truth: mental health has been seen as a soft touch by NHS staff needing to balance their books. Yet until now the government has denied that mental health has been disproportionately targeted. The Department of Health must listen now and stop denying the facts”.


More from Community Care

Comments are closed.