Mental health patients 'always lose out' - North Somerset CCG falling short of investment standards

PUBLISHED: 07:13 04 July 2017 | UPDATED: 07:13 04 July 2017

North Somerset CCG is not meeting mental health funding standards.

North Somerset CCG is not meeting mental health funding standards.

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Experts say mental health patients in North Somerset 'always lose out' after research revealed the district's health authority is failing to meet investment standards.

North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is one of only seven of 207 in the country failing to meet mental health investment benchmarks amid a ‘devastating NHS crisis’.

Research from the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) shows the CCG – which oversees health provision in the district – will not meet national investment standards this year or next.

The RCP said its research ‘highlights how much of a devastating impact the wider NHS financial crisis is having on patients’.

Sir Simon Wessely, of the RCP, said it would ‘not rest until each and every CCG’ meets mental health funding standards.

He added: “We are aware CCG finances are extremely tight but it is a shame it always seems to be 
mental health patients that lose out.

“We will remain vigilant to ensure that the additional funding underpinning the delivery of the five-year forward view for mental health is not used to supplant existing spend or balance the books elsewhere.”

North Somerset CCG’s lead for mental health Angela Kell said the body is ‘committed to improving mental health services’.

She added: “The CCG has placed parity of esteem at the heart of its mental health work since 2014 through the delivery of our crisis care concordat.

“The CCG is proud of the commitment and joint working of multiple agencies across the sector and has delivered the crisis care concordat action plan which includes the setup of a new control room triage service, a street triage service and investment in talking therapies services.”

The CCG offered an explanation why it is falling short of funding standards.

Ms Kell said: “While the national report suggests we don’t meet the investment standard, this is due to historic contractual arrangements with our provider.

“We became aware other health authorities were benefitting from spare bed capacity funded by North Somerset and as a result the CCG has reviewed the contracts with its providers.

“This has helped ensure we are only funding services for North Somerset patients and also increase the funding to local services.”

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