Public Accounts Committee report spotlights challenges faced by mental health sector

21 September 2016

NHS Providers welcomes publication today of the public accounts committee’s Improving access to mental health services which gives helpful insight into the growing funding and workforce challenges around achieving parity of esteem.

Director of policy and strategy, Saffron Cordery, said: “We have long been saying that parity of esteem between mental and physical health is a tall order with the unprecedented financial pressures facing the NHS.

“As we found in our survey earlier this year, commissioners are not clear or consistent about how front-line mental health services should be prioritised. Local commissioning budgets are under significant strain, and without more clarity on what constitutes front-line mental health services and how much should be spent on them, there are risks that in meeting the government’s access standards other mental health elements may be forced to miss out.

This report highlights that without clearer guidance on spending, provision of mental health services remains at risk.

"We strongly support the committee’s call for greater transparency on mental health spending by commissioners, more joined-up services and incentivisation to improve patient outcomes by prioritising better this important aspect of care.”


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