In his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor since the Conservatives won a majority in May's General Election, George Osborne committed to putting more money into improving mental health in the UK.
Praising Alistair Campbell, Andrew Mitchell and Norman Lamb for their mental health campaigning, he said during today's spending review that an additional £600m of government funding would be invested in this area. The extra money will go to crisis care and treatments like counselling.
The focus on mental health comes hand-in-hand with greater monetary input into the NHS, which Osborne describes as “the government's – and public's – first priority”. He said the government will deliver £6bn up-front to the NHS next year, to fund NHS chief executive Simon Stevens' five-year forward review.
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“Today, we build on that with £600m additional funding – meaning that by 2020 significantly more people will have access to talking therapies, perinatal mental health services, and crisis care,” he said.
All possible because we made a promise to the British people to give our NHS the funding it needed – and in this Spending Review we have delivered.
He also promised to make £22bn worth of efficiency savings in the health service, and create 10,000 training places for student nurses by making more loans available.
Yesterday, the chancellor said he would give an additional £10bn to the NHS every year until 2020 to help achieve the goal. This means that over the course of this parliament, the government will spend more than half a trillion pounds on health.