The King's Fund today welcomed extra funding for mental health services should they establish effective 24-hour, seven days-a-week mental health crisis services.
The King's Fund mental health adviser Simon Lawton-Smith said:
'Mental health often seems to be the government's forgotten clinical priority. That's why today's announcement of extra funding is so welcome. This particular pot seems to be an incentive to ensure the government hits its target of setting up 335 crisis resolution teams by the end of 2004. Nevertheless, we welcome efforts to improve and expand crisis services so long as other vital services are not neglected.
'If trusts are successful in applying for funding, we would urge them to consult local patients and partner organisations about where the money should be spent in 2005. It is important that it goes towards meeting the needs of mental health service users and does not simply get swallowed up in covering deficits.'
Notes to editors:
1. The King's Fund is an independent charitable foundation working for better health, especially in London. We carry out research, policy analysis and development activities, working on our own, in partnerships, and through grants. We are a major resource to people working in health, offering leadership and education courses; seminars and workshops; publications; information and library services; a specialist bookshop; and conference and meeting facilities.
2. The Department of Health has announced that all 85 Trusts and primary care trusts with lead responsibility for the provision of mental health services may access a one-off £200,000 payment if they can show evidence of progress, between March and December 2004, in achieving effective, co-ordinated 24-hour, seven days-a-week crisis services for people with recognised mental health problems.
3. For further information and interviews, please contact Daniel Reynolds in The King's Fund media and public relations office on 020 7307 2581 or 07831 554927, or Michael Moruzzi on 020 7307 2585.