10 per cent of mental health trusts are having to cut services,
by staff reporter
than 10 per cent of mental health trusts are having to cut back
on services, the government’s national director of mental
health has conceded.
The BBC reported that Prof Louis Appleby had admitted that 11 out
of 84 mental health trusts were being asked to make cuts. He confessed
he was "not happy" with the situation.
Appleby was responding to shadow health minister Tim Loughton's
criticisms that in-the-black mental health trusts have cut services
in order to assist other financially cripped trusts.
The health service is at least £600m in the red, with hospitals
largely responsible for the overspend. Traditionally, different
parts of the NHS have helped out neighbouring trusts which have
run up deficits.
But Mr Loughton said it was particularly unfair to take resources
from mental health trusts which already ran a "Cinderella service".
"Many of these trusts are having to sacrifice parts of their
budget when they have already had to shelve plans for further mental
health provision in an effort to balance their books in the first
place," said Mr Loughton.
Mental health minister Rosie Winterton said, however, that mental
health “remains a key priority.”
“There is no evidence to suggest mental health services are
being disproportionately affected," she told the BBC.
April 4, 2006:
Stop using mental health as an emergency piggy bank - Want to
prevent cuts to your local mental health services? Then get campaigning,
urges Simon des Forges
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