Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

NHS commits to major transformation of mental health care

The NHS in England has committed to investing more than £1billion a year by 2020/21 to help more than one million extra people with mental health needs.

It is making the move in response to the final report of an independent taskforce chaired by Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, and set up by the NHS as part of its Five Year Forward View to build consensus on how to improve services for people of all ages.

The taskforce says that one in four people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, and the cost of mental ill health to the economy, NHS and society is £105billion a year.

In a wide-ranging package of recommendations, it proposes a three-pronged approach to improving care through prevention, the expansion of mental health care (such as seven-day access in a crisis), and integrated physical and mental health care.

The taskforce suggests, and the NHS accepts, investing over £1billion a year of additional funding in NHS care by 2020/21 to reach one million more people. This investment is in addition to the previously announced new funding for children, young people and perinatal care.

The taskforce calls for the elimination by 2020/21 of sending people out of their local area for acute inpatient care if local acute beds are not available. It also says that clinical standards should be developed and rolled out as soon as funding allows.

In addition, the NHS must make significant improvements in mental health research and kickstart a ‘data revolution’ to ensure transparency on spending and the quality of care that people receive.

The full taskforce report is here​.