This warning comes after figures revealed that early intervention schemes to help vulnerable mental health patients have been significantly reduced in the last year. On top of this, mental health trusts are being asked to save nearly 20% more from next year’s budgets than hospitals.
According to NHS England, procedures have been put in place to ensure that both mental and physical health are treated equally in the future.
Rethink Mental Illness, The Mental Health Foundation, Mind, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network have joined together and released a letter warning that the proposed budget cuts will put lives at risk because the current system is already underfunded.
The early intervention schemes that have already been cut are intended to reduce suicide rates, stop patients becoming more ill and to help keep patients in work.
Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health has spoken out to say the early intervention schemes are very good value for money.
“Early Intervention in Psychosis services are known to be highly effective in helping young people to negotiate their first episode of psychosis.
“They offer hope of a brighter future by helping young people to stay in education, to get and keep work, and to support their physical health.”
He has described the prospect of budget cuts as ‘very worrying’ and a ‘false economy’, explaining that the cuts mean young people are now facing delays in getting treatment.
NHS England has released a statement saying it has been working solidly in its first year to make sure that mental health is no longer segregated, but fully embedded in the work they’re doing to deliver outcomes and high quality care.