Magazine article Public Finance

Hard-Pressed Mental Health Trusts Face Fresh Squeeze

Magazine article Public Finance

Hard-Pressed Mental Health Trusts Face Fresh Squeeze

Article excerpt

Mental health trusts have been asked to curb their spending to help other parts of the NHS balance their books, according to the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.

In a survey of mental health trust finance directors published on July 20. the charity found that almost all the trusts broke even in 2005/06, compared with just two-thirds of other NHS bodies. Three-quarters of mental health trusts had taken special measures to break even, usually by freezing recruitment of vacancies.

Despite this good financial management, mental health, long seen as a 'Cinderella' service, was being squeezed this year - 63% of the 32 finance directors who responded claimed their local primary care trusts were spending less than planned on mental health. The cuts averaged 3%.

The finance directors told the charity that their budgets would increase by 3. …

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