Mental health budget for Newham’s young people is not enough says councillor

PUBLISHED: 11:35 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:09 30 November 2016

Unmesh Desai GLA member for City & East says mental health spending on the young needs to be reviewed

Unmesh Desai GLA member for City & East says mental health spending on the young needs to be reviewed

London Assemby

A councillor has pressed health bosses to “urgently reconsider” the amount spent on mental health services in the borough amid fears of a funding “postcode lottery”.

Unmesh Desai’s comments were made as analysis revealed just £42.03 per head will be spent on child mental health services in 2016/17 by Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

In contrast, Camden CCG will spend £121.30 per head, according to The Royal College of Psychiatrists which collated the NHS data.

Mr Desai said: “Given that more than half of all adults with mental health problems develop them in childhood, it is vital that Newham CCG urgently reconsider the level of investment they are making in our young people’s mental health.”

The Labour London Assembly Member for City and East criticised the government for not doing more despite health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s pledge to invest almost a billion pounds into mental health services across the UK back in January.

The Recorder helped to raise awareness of mental health issues earlier this year in our 10-week Minds Matter campaign.

A spokeswoman for Newham CCG said providing children and young people “with high quality, effective and joined up mental health services is a top priority”.

She said: “Funding for children and young people’s mental health continues to increase year on year.

“We also continue to work in partnership with other health and care organisations in Newham, including London Borough of Newham and East London Foundation Trust, to make the best use of the resources that we have as a borough and to make sure that we are meeting the needs of our local communities.”

Five trusts were said to be spending below £10 per head on mental health services.

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