MP calls for more funding for Warwickshire's mental health services after five-year decline

Matt Western MP is calling on the Government to contribute more money to fund mental health services in Warwickshire
Matt Western MP is calling on the Government to contribute more money to fund mental health services in Warwickshire

Warwick and Leamington’s MP has called for more government support for mental health services in Warwickshire after new figures showed a five-year decline in funding.

Labour MP Matt Western raised his concerns after news broke that Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust is one of only nine mental health trusts in England to have suffered a year-on-year decline in its income in real terms, according to new research from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The trust has seen its income fall from £225,042,000 in 2011/12, to £207,857,000 in 2016/17.

Mr Western said: “I want the people of Warwick and Leamington to be able to get the best possible mental health treatment when they need it, and where they need it.

“For our local mental health trust to have had their funding cut every year for five years goes completely against government’s plans to properly fund mental health services.

“This news comes as demand for services soars, with some trusts saying a lack of funds has forced them to cut services.”

The College is calling for mental health trusts to be given more money and for better ways of tracking where mental health money is being spent.

Its figures show mental health trusts’ income is lower in England now than it was in 2011-12 once inflation is taken into account, according to the latest available figures.

Professor Wendy Burn, the College’s president, said: “It is totally unacceptable that when more and more people are coming forward with mental health problems, services are receiving less investment than they did five years ago.

“Patients with mental illness continue to bear the brunt of an underfunded sector experiencing unprecedented demand with limited supply.

“Prioritisation of mental health is about getting the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This can’t happen when mental health services continue to receive inadequate investment.”

Simon Gilby, Chief Executive of Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “We are working very closely with our Clinical Commissioning Group colleagues to ensure the right level of funding is available for mental health services across Coventry and Warwickshire.

"There is a national mental health investment standard and there is a joint commitment to matching that level of funding in this area.”