Centre for Mental Health today welcomed the Chancellor’s decision in the 2017 Budget statement to provide additional funding for the NHS between now and 2020 and called for assurances that funding to improve mental health services will be protected and that all local areas will see increases in mental health spending in line with promises made following the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sarah Hughes said: “The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health set out a range of necessary steps to bring equality for mental health closer by 2020/21 and ensure that the NHS spends £1 billion more on mental health services than it did in 2015/16. This is the very least we need to see to improve access to mental health support and the quality of care people get and to recruit and retain the people we need to boost services across the country. And it needs to be translated into significant real terms increases in spending on mental health services in every CCG in England.

Extra funding to the NHS is welcome but local government services are under greater financial pressure still and if they are not supported the NHS alone will not be able to deliver the promises of the Five Year Forward View.

“We are concerned that the Budget does not make any specific mention of the vital work of social services, public health and housing to people’s mental health. Extra funding to the NHS is welcome but local government services are under greater financial pressure still and if they are not supported the NHS alone will not be able to deliver the promises of the Five Year Forward View.

“We also need to see a significant boost to mental health support in schools, for people seeking work and in prisons. Investing in the mental health of children and young people is vital and will bring about long-term benefits. We hope that the forthcoming Green Paper on mental health in schools will signal the necessary funding to make a difference to children and families nationwide.”