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Mental health budget ring-fence in Wales to continue

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

The mental health budget in Wales will continue to be protected by a ring-fence following a Welsh Government-commissioned review, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford announced today.
Monday 17 August 2015

In 2008, the then Welsh Government introduced arrangements to ring-fence mental health revenue allocations to health boards with the aim of protecting investment in mental health services.  

In 2012, the Welsh Government’s Together for Mental Health strategy reinforced the commitment to the continuation of the ring-fence. The delivery plan which underpinned the strategy also committed the Welsh Government to commissioning a review of the effectiveness of the mental health ring-fence by the end of 2015.

The Review of the Financial Ring-fencing Arrangements for Mental Health Services in Wales, by PricewaterhouseCoopers which was commissioned by the Welsh Government, concluded that the purpose of the ring-fence – to protect expenditure on mental health services – has largely been achieved.

The report contains a number of recommendations aimed to better link expenditure with outcomes.  The Welsh Government are now considering these recommendations and will publish a further statement later in the year following discussion with stakeholders.

In 2015-16, the Welsh Government has ring-fenced £587m for mental health services across Wales – up from £389m in 2009-10.  Earlier this year, the Minister for Health and Social Services announced an additional £15m of new funding is being made available for mental health services in Wales every year.

Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“Mental ill health can have a significant impact on life expectancy and is a key cause of health inequalities.

“One in four adults experiences mental health problems or illness at some point during their lifetime, while one in six of us will be experiencing symptoms at any one time. One in 10 children between the ages of five and 16 has a mental health problem and many more have behavioural issues. That’s why mental health is one of my main priorities.

“In Wales, we spend more on mental health services than on any other part of the NHS; today’s announcement is a further demonstration of our commitment to this vital part of the health service.”

 

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Health and social services 17 August 2015 Improving health Programme for Government - Healthcare Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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