Neil Coyle – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Neil Coyle on 2016-04-25.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what measures he has put in place to monitor how the £1.25 billion allocated to children and adolescent mental health services in the March 2015 Budget is spent; and if he will take steps to ring-fence the remainder of that funding.

Alistair Burt

In total the Government has made available an additional £1.4 billion over the course of this Parliament to improve children and young people’s mental health. In addition to the £1.25 billion made available in the March 2015 budget, a further £150 million was made available in the 2014 Autumn Statement to develop evidence based community eating disorder services for children and young people.

NHS England’s Local Transformation Planning guidance issued, in August 2015, and the robust assurance process around it, backed by a programme of regional and national support, ensure that the additional money will be spent for the purposes intended and that locally determined key performance indicators will be met. No funding was allocated without full assurance in place.

The intention from 2016-17 is to monitor children and young people’s mental health services transformation as part of mainstream NHS England planning processes and through the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Improvement and Assessment Framework. As part of the 2016-17 financial reporting planning process, programme level spend including children and young people’s mental health spend will be monitored routinely throughout the year

While there is no legal power for the Department to ring-fence funding allocated to CCGs, we have introduced other means to ensure CCGs spend the additional investment where it is intended. The Department set objectives for NHS England in the annual mandate, which reflects the priorities for the health and care system. The mandate for 2016-17 sets objectives to 2020 and it makes it clear that the Government expects to see a transformation of children and young people’s mental health services.