Mental health announcements in today’s budget
October 29, 2018
The money is part of an extra £20bn for NHS England announced by Theresa May in the summer, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland getting proportional extra funding. The increase will begin in 2019-20, reaching an extra £20bn in real terms for NHS England by 2023-24.
In today’s budget Mr Hammond is expected to say that in England at least £2bn will go to mental health services by 2023-24. He is expected to announce that the increased mental health funding will go towards:
– ‘comprehensive’ mental health support being available in every large A&E department
– funding for more mental health ambulances
– greater access to community services for people with mental health problems
– specialist crisis teams linking schools, social services and young people’s mental health services
– teams in schools supporting people with mild and moderate mental health problems.
Shadow mental health minister, Barbara Keeley, said: ‘If this announcement is simply money that’s already been promised, it will do little to relieve the severe pressures on mental health services that have built up because of this Tory government’s relentless underfunding of the NHS.’
However, today’s budget may be scrapped if a Brexit deal with the EU cannot be secured. In pre-budget interviews, Mr Hammond has said that the government will have to return to parliament with an emergency budget if there was no deal.
Analysis has revealed a dramatic increase in the numbers of students seeking mental health support, reports the BBC.
Using Freedom of Information Act requests, the BBC’s Shared Data Unit asked universities across the UK for the numbers of students seeking some form of support.
The BBC reports: ‘Of 83 universities that provided five years of full data from 2012 to 2017, the number of students seeking help rose from 50,900 to 78,100. The number of students going to university dropped slightly over the same period.
At the same time, budgets towards mental health services increased by more than 40%.’
The BBC also revealed that in Scotland the number of students seeking mental health support has increased by two-thirds over five years.
The Shared Data Unit makes data journalism available to news organisations across the media industry, as part of a partnership between the BBC and the News Media Association.
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