Lack of money is frequently highlighted as a key barrier to providing high quality care in mental health, with bed pressures, access to services and poor patient experience being associated with inadequate funding.
There is a common view that mental health services have been underfunded in comparison with physical health services. As a survey earlier this year by NHS Providers demonstrated, this has led to a lack of confidence in the sector that this situation will change, despite promises of parity of esteem.
A King’s Fund review of trust annual reports shows that around 40 per cent of mental health trusts experienced a reduction in their income between 2012/13 and 2013/14 and 2013/14 and 2014/15. This is in marked contrast with the acute sector, where more than 85 per cent of trusts saw their income increase over the same periods.