Theresa May’s mental health ‘revolution’ has a money-shaped hole

What does this tell us about her 'shared society'?


Theresa May has a lot of proposals for tackling mental health in today’s speech to the charity commission, hailed by the press as a ‘mental health revolution’.

But one thing is noticeably absent from her list of measures – extra funding.

At a time when 40 per cent of mental health trusts in England have seen budget cuts in 2015/16, £1 billion promised by Jeremy Hunt has not been ringfenced, pushing it down the list of commissioners’ priorities.

Meanwhile, 57 per cent (73 out of 128) of Clinical Commissioning Groups responded to a Freedom of Information request saying they plan to spend less on mental health in 2016/17.

This funding problem has been slammed by nine former health secretaries, who in a joint letter said:

“Despite the warm words, one year on we see the same enduring injustice, the massive economic cost and the distress suffered by countless families across the country.

Despite promised increases in funding, mental health trusts are still suffering cuts.”

Nothing in May’s speech today will address this. Instead we have training at schools and workplaces, reviews of current practices, and more services online – the latter to avoid costly face-to-face appointments.

The only case of extra money is equally telling: £15 million for ‘community care’ to keep patients from clogging up GP surgeries and A&E.

If this is a sign of things to come, May’s ‘shared society’ looks a lot like the ‘more with less’ small-state pro-business agenda we’ve come to know and despise.

She won’t fool the children of that ‘revolution’.

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

See: Jeremy Hunt wants ‘sext ban’ for under-18s – but squeezes mental health funds

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5 Responses to “Theresa May’s mental health ‘revolution’ has a money-shaped hole”

  1. NHSGP

    10 trillion pounds owed for pensions.
    1.5 trillion in borrowing

    The debts add up

    30% of taxes going on debts.

    Hence cuts elsewhere.

    Austerity is caused by the debts.

    12,000,000 million pounds of debt

    15 million on community care.

    Ho hum, when the left doesn’t get that the debts matter, it won’t get close to dealing with root causes.

  2. John

    Pensions and other state benefits meant to be paid by NI.
    If NI hasn’t been increased to cover those debts, that’s not a failing of ‘the left’ since it’s only recently that it has become a problem, and only recently (after 5 decades of Tory rule) that ‘the left’ held power.

    The idea that you can ‘shrink’ your way out of debt is demonstrably untrue.

    Ho hum. When the right ignores recent history to realise that you can’t cut income to pay off debts, it won’t get close to dealing with root causes.

  3. Craig Mackay

    The latest interview with Theresa May made it clear that she does not expect to be able to pick and mix in our new relationship with the EU and essentially hard Brexit is what we are going to get. It is increasingly clear that she actually has no plan at all about negotiating with the EU. She also has produced almost no new initiatives in the six months since she became Prime Minister. Lofty speeches claiming that the Tories will become the party of social justice are exposed as extraordinary examples of disinformation. Despite so much evidence that many parts of the NHS are in crisis no new cash is promised. She actually doesn’t have any ideas at all and these wonderful new clothes that she and Tories are claiming are in fact completely invisible. The Empress is naked!

    If you want to feel thoroughly depressed you might like to look at: Or indeed if you happen to be leader of the opposition you might be delighted to read how many potential targets there are in the government’s so-called policies!

  4. Glen Shakespeare

    I doubt NHSGP is an NHS GP. Far too stupid. The debt is caused by austerity you idiot. They were warned about this by practically every economist on the planet in 2010 but pressed ahead anyway. That is because the health of the nation’s finances has never been an issue for them. They are only concerned with their own pathetic far right ideology. Conversely if Labour’s recovery of 2010 had been continued the deficit would easily have been eliminated in the previous parliament. Instead it was left the highest it’s ever been since records began. And as now irrefutably evidenced it was financial institutions responsible for that recession. Unlike the 3 full blown recessions given us by them last time around.

  5. John Lewis cuts its 'shared' bonus - thanks to Brexit's pound dive | Left Foot Forward

    […] all the PM’s efforts to plug her ‘shared society’ rebrand this week, her mental health policies and the NHS crisis prove the only thing ‘shared’ in this society is poor governance and […]

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