PRESS RELEASE: Mental Health Patients at risk due to lack of funding for repairs and upgrades

A report from NHS Providers published today states that patient safety is at risk due to underfunding of Mental Health Trusts. The report which states that “two thirds of NHS mental health trusts will not receive the funding they need to invest in urgent repairs or upgrade their facilities” goes on to say that “many are still being cared for in inappropriate dormitory-style wards.”

The findings in the report reveal:

  • For 27% of mental health trusts funding allocated for capital investment would not even meet half of their current need

  • Two thirds of trusts estimate they need between £50m and £150m of capital investment over the next 5 – 10 years

Dr Natalie Ashburner, a Psychiatry Doctor and Wellbeing Lead for Doctors’ Association UK said:

These findings are unsurprising to those of us struggling to work in inadequately funded acute mental health services. Despite a huge increase in awareness around mental health, this is not being backed with the funding that is so desperately needed to reach the very basic in standard of care. Not only does this degrade the privacy and dignity of our patients but inappropriate environments directly impact the physical safety of both patients and staff. While clinicians are committed to providing their utmost level of care and compassion, this is being undermined by a lack of backing in the form of resources to the trust. Chronic underfunding serves only to reinforce the stigma of mental health, devalue the services and undermine efforts to achieve parity of esteem.