£2.9 billion funding to strengthen care for the vulnerable

New funding will help patients who no longer need urgent hospital treatment to return home, making at least 15,000 beds available during the coronavirus outbreak | Department of Health and Social Care

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The funding comes from the £5 billion COVID-19 fund announced by the Chancellor in last week’s budget. £1.6 billion will go to local authorities to help them respond to other coronavirus (COVID-19) pressures across all the services they deliver. This includes increasing support for the adult social care workforce and for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people.

£1.3 billion will be used to enhance the NHS discharge process so patients who no longer need urgent treatment can return home safely and quickly.

The funding will cover the follow-on care costs for adults in social care, or people who need additional support, when they are out of hospital and back in their homes, community settings, or care settings.

Enhancing the NHS discharge process will help free up 15,000 hospital beds across England and ensure more staff have capacity to treat people needing urgent care, including those being cared for with coronavirus.

Full detail at Department of Health & Social Care

Securing the future of Social Care funding

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Image source: http://www.vodg.org.uk

This report sets out the issues facing disability organisations and why it is important that the government puts in place a sustainable funding plan. It calls on the government to not delay reform of the social care sector any longer and for policy makers to work with the sector to ensure community resources are responsive and preventative.

£1.5 billion to deliver Government commitment for 50 million more general practice appointments

Government and NHS commit an additional £1.5 billion in total for general practice | Department of Health and Social Carestethoscope-1584223_1920

The Government and NHS England have committed at least an additional £1.5 billion for general practice over the next four years for additional staff, a key step towards delivering 50 million more appointments in general practice by 2024.

In addition to the Government’s commitment to invest in general practice under the Long Term Plan, this funding is for the recruitment of 6,000 more primary care professionals as well as for initiatives to support the recruitment and retention of doctors in general practice.

In agreement with the profession, the General Practice Contract for 2020/21 will also offer more check-ups for new mums as part of a major deal with England’s family doctors.

Also included in the agreement are regular visits for care home residents, assessing medication and new incentives to increase uptake of vaccinations and learning disability health checks, expand social prescribing referrals, and improve prescription safety checks.

Expanding the new workforce will allow GPs to focus on the sickest patients and will in time allow them to provide longer appointments to people who need one.

Full story at Department of Health and Social Care

The state of children’s mental health services

Children’s Commissioner | January 2020| The state of children’s mental health services

The third annual report on mental health report from the Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, said that, despite years of government commitments, the publication says an extra £50 million was spent on specialist mental health services for children in 2018/19. Although 53,000 more young people started treatment, the report says many are still not getting the help that they need. NHS spending on children’s mental health continued to lag behind spending on services for adults, leaving substantial unmet need. On average, the NHS spends £225  on mental health for every adult but only £92 for every child.

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BMJ Child mental health: improvements are too slow, says report

BBC News Children ‘end up in care and custody’ over mental health

[Report] Children’s Commissioner The state of children’s mental health services

Finding a life-changing treatment for dementia

Alzheimer’s Research UK has called on government to invest in six priority research areas, which will help to deliver a life-changing treatment for dementia

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Image source: https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/

In their 2019 manifesto, the Conservative party pledged to launch a “Dementia Moonshot” to find a cure for dementia – doubling research funding and speeding up trials for new treatments.

Alzheimer’ Research UK are now calling for action to deliver on those commitments. In this publication, Alzheimer’s UK puts forward the steps government must take to deliver its Moonshot ambition of finding a life-changing treatment for dementia.

 

 

These are:

  1. Find ways to detect the diseases that cause dementia 10-15 years earlier, to broaden the search for new treatments and intervene with those most at risk of developing dementia.
  2. Find ways to more effectively validate novel targets in early drug development to maximise chances of successful clinical trials.
  3. Make the UK the best place to conduct clinical dementia research.
  4. Expand research infrastructure to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in dementia research.
  5. Further our understanding of dementia risk reduction and prevention and dementia in the context of multi-morbidities.

Full document: Delivering the Dementia Moonshot: A plan to find life-changing treatments 

Mental health funding and investment

This briefing reflects on the progress that has been made to increase investment in mental health services and deliver on aspirations to improve service provision. It also gives NHS Providers’ view on the solutions needed to address the financial and investment challenges facing the sector.

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Mental health services have had a substantial cash injection in recent years. Following a decade of significant campaigning from the mental health sector, there is widespread support for greater investment in mental health services. In recent years aspirations to improve quality and access to services has taken shape with the development of a fully costed programme for mental health delivery with The Five year forward view for mental health. The NHS long term plan published since is clear that making further progress on improving people’s mental health and wellbeing is a priority for the next decade.

This briefing looks at the financial and investment challenges facing mental health providers. It digests the financial and funding issues facing mental health trusts, including their current financial position, the impact of stigma on investment in mental health provision, how mental health services are commissioned, contracted and paid for, the transparency and governance of funding flows, as well as setting out a number of solutions to financial problems mental health trusts face.

Full detail: Mental Health funding and investment | NHS Providers

See also: The mental health sector challenge: stigma and funding | NHS Providers blog

Achieving parity of resource, access and outcome for mental health in England

This report outlines the British Medical Association’s findings about the state of mental health in England and offers recommendations for improvements.

Recent NHS England and government commitments recognise the importance of parity of esteem between physical and mental health. However, Doctors remain extremely concerned about the state of mental health services and the ability to deliver on commitments to achieve parity. Mental health services remain a long way behind most physical health services in terms of their resourcing, patient ability to access care and overall patient outcomes.

Key findings from the report

  • Under a third of children with mental health problems in England are able to access the care they need.
  • Those with a severe mental illness in England on average die 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death among young people in the UK aged 20-34 years, and for men in the UK aged under 50.

 

Summary of recommendations

  • Funding – Double expenditure on mental health care, and spend more on wards, research and in primary care and public health. Child and adolescent mental health services require an investment standard to ensure funding commitments are met.
  • Access – Adequately resource proposed standards and review trusts which place high numbers of patients in beds far from their homes.
  • Workforce – Implement realistic and measurable workforce goals and recruitment campaigns to target sub-specialties, such as old age psychiatry and learning disability psychiatry.
  • Prevention – Establish a cross-government body to write a joint strategy on public mental health. Develop a ‘mental health in all policy’; mental health impacts assessments for all new policy proposals.

Full document: Beyond parity of esteem: Achieving parity of resource, access and outcome for mental health in England | BMA