Slow progress on mental health funding

Significant challenges still face the first mental health tariff before it can be properly implemented. This is according to a new report from the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network, which found individuals employed in this area throughout the NHS are enthusiastic about making payments by results work.

It is hoped the introduction of a tariff system will result in mental health funding being increased to levels enjoyed by other departments in the health service.

According to the study, around a third of mental health trusts are making considerable progress in their efforts to draw up a suitable tariff, but others claimed a lack of guidance from the Department of Health, coupled with inadequate IT systems and poor data, is hampering their efforts.

Steve Shrubb, Director of the Mental Health Network said the findings "should ring alarm bells in the NHS and for the government. We need to be realistic that the mental health tariff is only at the beginning stages of being ready".

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