Mental health services across the NHS will receive a huge £150 million investment from the UK government as part of a wide-ranging reform to the Mental Health Act.
Over the next three years, the significant sum will be used to enhance NHS mental health services, enabling them to give better support to those experiencing a mental health emergency.
Following an independent review of the Mental Health Act by Professor Sir Simon Wessely, recommendations were made to bolster existing services so that individuals feel better supported by the NHS.
Now, the government plans to invest £150 million, with £7 million of the funding going towards specialised mental health ambulances. With these available, it should reduce the use of general ambulance callouts when someone experiences a mental health crisis.
As part of the Mental Health Act reform, the government aims to:
- Tackle racial inequalities in mental health services
- Help better meet the needs of autistic individuals and those living with a learning disability
- Provide suitable care for people within the criminal justice system who have a serious mental illness
- Give better access to care within the community
NHS Mental Health Director Claire Murdoch said: “This is a significant and welcome milestone towards the much-needed reform of the Mental Health Act, and I look forward to working with the government on developing a plan for implementing these changes.
“The NHS Long Term Plan is expanding and improving mental health services across the country – from specialised mental health ambulances, opening new buildings, and refurbishing older ones – this much needed funding will modernise facilities and most importantly, ensure mental health patients get access to the best and suitable care when they need it.”
The draft Mental Health Bill will be examined by a parliamentary select committee before a final version is published by the government.
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