Government’s plans to build 40 new hospitals leaves mental health out in the cold

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2 October 2020

The Government’s plans to build 40 new hospitals leaves mental health out in the cold and on the sidelines, Centre for Mental Health chief executive Sarah Hughes said today.

Responding to the announcement that just two of the 40 new hospital building projects in England will be for mental health care, Sarah Hughes said: “For nearly ten years the Government has been committed to delivering parity between mental and physical health. Today’s announcement goes nowhere near giving mental health a fair share of the vital funding announced today for new NHS buildings.

“Many mental health hospitals need urgent modernisation. While we welcomed the Government’s previous announcement that it would invest in updating the remaining ‘dormitory’ wards in mental health hospitals, there is so much more to do. Too many mental health wards are dilapidated and unsuited to modern mental health care.

“We urge the Government to use the Spending Review to turn this around. We need a fair share of NHS capital spending to update mental health hospitals. We urgently need investment in education and training for the next generation of mental health workers. And we need fair funding for local councils to support public mental health and social care.

“Yesterday Centre for Mental Health warned that some 10 million people will need help for their mental health as a result of the pandemic in England. Most will never need to go to hospital for their mental health. But some will, and we owe it to them to ensure they can go to buildings that are safe, modern and fit for purpose.”

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