Updated: Sunday, 27th May 2018 @ 7:37am

'Unacceptable': Rochdale MP Danczuk attacks Government over 'broken' mental health spending promises

'Unacceptable': Rochdale MP Danczuk attacks Government over 'broken' mental health spending promises

| By Andrew Greaves

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has accused the Government of breaking its promises on local mental health spending.

The Government has previously said it "expects" Clinical Commissioning Groups to increase the proportion it spends on mental health services during the 2015/16 financial year.

But a Freedom of Information request has shown that Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG plans to spend 10% of its budget on mental health services this year, a decrease of 0.03%.

And Mr Danczuk, who revealed last month that he had been suffering from depression, said: “It is not an illness we can afford to ignore.

"One in five people in Rochdale have a common mental health disorder, more than almost any other area.

"When demand for mental health care is so high, it is unacceptable that Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG plans to spend proportionally less on these services this year.

"The Government should match its rhetoric on equality between mental and physical health and give patients in Rochdale the help they need."

More than a third of all CCGs are planning to reduce the proportion of their budget they spend on mental health in 2015/16, with an average allocation of 10%.

This is despite research which indicates mental health accounts for 23% of the burden on the NHS.

Luciana Berger, Labour Shadow Minister for Public Health, said: “At a time when experts are warning of a growing crisis in mental health, this is of grave concern.

 “The Government has repeatedly promised that the amount spent on mental health locally would increase in line with local CCG budgets.

“Yet they have failed to make this a reality and too many CCGs actually plan to spend less of their budget on mental health this year.”

Despite the figures thrown up by the FOI requests, a spokesman for the Department of Health said separate figures from NHS England showed that mental health spending had increased by £0.4bn this year.

He said:  “Mental health is a priority for this government and to say otherwise ignores the fact we have given mental and physical health conditions equal priority in law, we've increased central funding by millions of pounds, and introduced the first ever treatment targets which will make sure funding goes to where it's needed.”

Image courtesy of FSB via YouTube, with thanks.