David Powles of the EDP has been investigating whether mental health has been receiving its fair share of NHS funding.
The EDP has discovered that despite increasing demand and mental health services being rated Inadequate by the Care Quality Commission and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) being in Special Measures, the unaccountable commissioners in the Magnificent Seven CCGs are still cutting the proportion of funding received by mental health and NSFT. Normally, when a trust fails financially and in terms of care, money is diverted towards rather than away from it.
In Norfolk and Waveney, £193m is due to be spent on mental health this year, but even if each CCG maintained its percentage spend compared to 2014/15, an extra £3.6m would be available.
A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk said: “Norfolk’s mental health trust has seen its budget cut by 30pc compared to the county’s largest hospital, the N&N. Given increasing demand and that it was rated inadequate by the Care Quality Commission, the explanation must be stigma.”
Meanwhile, rather than work together to address the crisis in mental health services, the NHS Blame Game continues:
An April 2015 internal review by Norwich CCG, seen by this paper, raises concerns it handed over 13.5pc of its budget to the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), compared to lower percentages elsewhere in the county and that it could be effectively funding services beyond its boundaries.
Duplicitous Norman Lamb, sadly, again tries to pretend he wasn’t the Secretary of State at the Department of Health directly responsible for mental health while NSFT failed after suffering devastating cuts of about thirty per cent relative to the largest physical health trust in Norfolk. Lamb bleats about unaccountable NHS England and the CCGs but conveniently forgets he voted to create them and before the election defended the Health and Social Care Act. In Norman Lamb’s world of the purely ceremonial minister, he should be given credit for his soundbites but not held to account for his actions. When Norman Lamb was the Minister for mental health, he did all he could to undermine our campaign and its volunteers in a disgraceful, untrue, personal and underhand manner. Now that Lamb has lost his ministerial car and salary, he tries to make political capital from joining us to campaign against the cuts and structure for which he was responsible. Our contempt for Norman Lamb is not about party politics, it is about decency in public life.
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