30 October 2018

AWP's response to Chancellor's budget

Hayley Richards, Chief Executive, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust said: "This budget was an important one for mental health. The Chancellor has committed funding for NHS mental health services and confirms the early signs that this will be a key priority for the forthcoming NHS long-term plan. But years of underfunding have taken their toll and this is no more than a small step on the road to parity of esteem.

"NHS mental health services have been underfunded for decades and we know that too often, people don't get the help and support they need, when they need it. This commitment ahead of the NHS long-term plan indicates that mental health is rightly high on the Government's agenda, and has the potential to improve access to care, once detailed plans are clear.

"The £2bn committed should be seen as a 'deposit' on what needs to be much faster growth in the future, but mental health services need more than money to meet demand. One way to accelerate improvement is to make sure that mental health is a priority across the whole of the NHS, with significant investment in areas such as prevention and primary care.

"We look forward to seeing how mental health is reflected across the NHS long-term plan when it is published shortly and working with our local system-wide partners to ensure that mental health is everyone's responsibility and we achieve true parity of esteem.

"This budget clearly illustrates that mental health sits across departments and highlights more than ever the need for a cross-government strategy."

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