Luciana Berger – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Luciana Berger on 2016-02-24.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to paragraph 3 on page 5 of the Five Year Forward View Mental Health Task Force report, published on 15 February 2016, if he will make it his policy to provide equal funding for mental health services.

Alistair Burt

We are committed to achieving parity of esteem between mental health and physical health. The Mental Health Taskforce estimates that the priority recommendations for the National Health Service set out in their report will cost an additional £1 billion annually by the year 2020/21. By the end of this Parliament we will make the Taskforce’s recommendations a reality.

This builds on the £1.4 billion over this Parliament that has been previously announced for transforming children and young people’s mental health and improving support for eating disorders.

All of the Taskforce report recommendations are funded from within the overall envelope agreed in the Spending Review. All of the £1 billion announced with the Taskforce report represents additional investment over and above what was allocated to the NHS in 2015/16.

We are already spending more money on mental health than ever before – an estimated £11.7 billion last year. This shows our commitment to achieving an equal status between mental and physical health services. We have been clear that commissioners must continue to increase investment in mental health services each year at a level which at least matches their overall expenditure increase.

We will monitor this closely to ensure this happens and know that clinical commissioning group spend is on track to increase as expected.