NHS mental health services 'dangerously close to collapse' due to funding cuts

  • Psychiatrists have said that NHS mental health services are "running dangerously close to collapse" after new figures have revealed the damage that funding cuts have inflicted. /images/mentalhealth.jpg

    An investigation by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) has revealed that there are 3,640 fewer nurses and 213 fewer doctors working in mental health services in April this year compared to staffing levels two years ago, reports the Independent.

    Through freedom of information requests and analysis of workforce data it has been revealed that the NHS' 57 mental health trusts have lost 2.3% of their funding, which is the equivalent to £253 million.

    These cuts have led to drops in the capacity of mental health services around the county and many mental health patients have had to be moved due to lack of local beds.

    Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said that the figures were "a glaring warning sign" that mental health is "running dangerously close to collapse".

    Luciana Berger, Labour's shadow health minister for public health, said that the new figures were "appalling".

    "Rather than watching from the sidelines, ministers must urgently get to grips with this crisis in our mental health services," she said.

    A Department of Health spokesman said: "We have gone further than ever before to put mental health on a par with physical health and have instructed the NHS to make sure every community does the same."

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