Spending on mental health needs to rise

Spending on mental health needs to rise by 50 per cent by 2011 and staff numbers by 40 per cent if the government is to implement its policies in full, according to a report published today.

The study by the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health shows that although mental health spending rose by an unprecedented 7 per cent a year between 1999 and 2006 it must rise still further to meet the government’s national service framework targets.

The report says spending is likely to increase to £6 billion by 2010-11 but would need to rise to £7.5 billion to deliver the framework. And 4,000 more medical staff and nearly 20,000 more qualified nurses would also be required.

SCMH chief executive Angela Greatley said: “The national service framework for mental health was a hugely ambitious ten-year plan.  A great deal of extra investment has gone into achieving much of it.  But there remain major gaps, especially in mental health promotion and in primary care, and it now looks unlikely that it will be achieved in full by 2010-11.”

More information:

Mental health: www.communitycare.co.uk/mentalhealth

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