9th November - CardiffNext Steps for Mental Health Services in Wales

Philip Hammond Chancellor of the Exchequer

Simon Jacobs, head of underwriting and claims strategy at Aegon UK, meanwhile, highlighted that protection policies can offer more than just financial support to those suffering from mental illness.

The chancellor confirmed that the NHS would receive £20bn from the government by 2023 to relieve pressures on the health service and instigate improvements, but elsewhere mental health was the biggest victor in Philip Hammond's 2018 Budget. "And yet still only a fraction of total NHS spending will be directed towards mental health, undermining the Government's ambition to put mental health on equal footing with physical health", he said.

While extra support for mental health crisis services has been widely welcomed, Richard Coe, project director at Kajima Partnerships, drew attention to the need for "an integrated system of rehabilitation and recovery supported by modern, community-centred buildings, with hospitals no longer viewed merely as standalone treatment centres but as part of the wider community".

"The reduction in business rates may bring welcome relief for some smaller community pharmacy businesses and we were also pleased to note [the] funding to help transform local high streets", Dukes said. However, while this funding is directed at specific new programmes, it is vital that we also see more support for core services for people with severe and long term mental health problems.

'But it's important there is transparency in how promises for additional funding will translate through to additional services and resources on the front line for people who need them.

In the Budget, Hammond also announced that business rates would be cut by a third for all retailers in England with a rateable value of £51,000 or less, and that a "Future high streets fund" worth £675m would be allocated to councils to help transform local high streets.

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"We already knew that he had committed to five more years of below-trend growth in the NHS's funding".

A new 24/7 crisis hotline, more mental health crisis ambulances and children and young people's crisis teams across the country were all announced as part of a £2bn increase in mental health funding. "This is most welcome, but it can not succeed without recognising the interdependency of these services on public health and social care".

"Attention will now turn to the publication of the NHS long-term plan later this year".

With many saying that this funding will only serve to get the basics back on track, and NHS Confederation responded to the Budget by warning of "very tough" next few years and called social care the government's "Achilles heel".

By 2022 we will have around £35 to 40 million less per year. We hope that the social care green paper is not further delayed: "this has huge implications for both health and social care and most importantly for the people who need these crucial services".


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