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Doctors warn on 'Cinderella' mental health service

Consultants are concerned that mental health services are suffering greater cuts than other parts of the NHS. Gary Wannan speaking at the consultants conference 2014

The BMA annual consultants conference in London today welcomed the government’s intention to put mental health on a par with physical health services, but said this needed to be matched with appropriate resources.

The government has pledged £400m in the four years leading up to 2015 and £16m for the Time to Change campaign that tackles mental health stigma.

But the conference heard that mental health services budgets had dropped in real terms over the past seven years.

BMA consultants committee specialty lead for psychiatry Gary Wannan (pictured) said NHS England was expecting mental health services to deliver more psychiatry services with no extra money.

Dr Wannan said: ‘Mental health has often been described as a Cinderella service. The government’s intentions for mental health are like inviting Cinderella to the ball and then telling her to stay home in her usual place.’

BMA consultants committee chair Paul Flynn said NHS England needed to provide the resources to meet its expectations in terms of service provision. He added that cuts to mental health services had an impact on society’s most vulnerable people.

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