Report exposes stark divide between mental health demand and capacity

21 February 2024

Responding to a '360 degree' review of mental health care by The King's Fund, Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive, NHS Providers, said:

"Trusts want to give patients the best care possible in the best environments possible. For that we need more, long-term government support for mental health.

"Demand for mental health care is at a record high, with more than 2 million people on waiting lists, piling pressure on stretched services which have too few staff and are crying out for more capital funding to provide care in first-class facilities.

"The King's Fund report echoes what trust leaders tell us. More than nine in 10 are worried about whether their mental health trust can meet demand this year. Trust leaders have long expressed concern about the ability to maintain high-quality services given the pressures on capacity and resources.

"For years mental health services have been starved of adequate capital investment vital to provide high-quality care in the right settings for the good of patients and staff. 

"The report acknowledges that the sector has made progress on expanding services and improving access. Mental health must be more of a national priority and backed by the right funding and support to make significant further strides in improving access and the quality of services.

"Adequate funding and support for wider public services is critical too, to make sure that people get the right care and support they may need as quickly as possible."