Data obtained by Labour shows that NHS West Cheshire, the Clinical Commissioning Group that covers Ellesmere Port & Neston, has decreased the proportion of their total budget to mental health compared with last year.
Following cuts in mental health spending, the Government stated that it was their clear ‘expectation’ that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) should increase spending on mental health in 2015/16 at least in line with each CCG’s overall allocation growth.
However, data obtained by Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, Luciana Berger, in a series of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests reveals that more than a third of CCGs are planning to reduce the proportion of their budget they spend on mental health in 2015/16. West Cheshire is one of them.
Justin Madders MP said:
“This amounts to a cut in the already stretched Mental Health Services for patients in Ellesmere Port & Neston. Poor mental health affects many people in the constituency. At a time when many local people are suffering from the stresses of modern life as well as the strains of making ends meet, mental health services are needed more than ever. The Government have failed to honour yet another of their election promises and the future for the National Health Service as a whole looks bleak under this Conservative Government.”
Luciana Berger, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Public Health, said:
“These figures show the Government have failed to honour their promises on mental health spending. At a time when experts are warning of a growing crisis in mental health, this is of grave concern.
“The Government has repeatedly promised that the amount spent on mental health locally would increase in line with local CCG budgets. Yet they have failed to make this a reality and too many CCGs actually plan to spend less of their budget on mental health this year.
“Ministers talk about equality between physical and mental health services all the time but they are not translating their rhetoric into reality.
“While the Government fails to take the urgent action required to support our struggling mental health services, some of the most vulnerable patients are left suffering without the help they need.”