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GM commits £134m to overhaul mental health services in four-year plan


By Carolyn Wickware
26 July 2017

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Greater Manchester has announced plans to spend £134m on a sweeping transformation of mental health services in the area.

The four-year plans, run by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, pledge 60% of the funds to the mental health needs of children, young people and new mothers.

The funding also aims to decrease adult suicides by 10% and give older people with dementia a diagnosis and referral within six weeks of each other by 2020/21.

Greater Manchester has announced plans to spend £134m on a sweeping transformation of mental health services in the area.

The four-year plans, run by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, pledge 60% of the funds to the mental health needs of children, young people and new mothers.

The funding also aims to decrease adult suicides by 10% and give older people with dementia a diagnosis and referral within six weeks of each other by 2020/21.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, described the programme as ‘potentially life-changing’ for thousands people.

The transformation plans aim to see 4,000 more children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition receive better treatment and care, including a round-the-clock crisis support service.

The plans further pledge to have 95% of those in need of an eating disorder service receive treatment within one week for urgent cases and four weeks for other cases by 2020.

Funding for the service overhaul will come from the £6bn devolution deal the city undertook in 2015.

Mr Burnham said: ‘If we’re honest NHS mental health services have not always been what we wanted them to be in Greater Manchester.’

He added: ‘It’s not enough to tackle mental health services alone. The pressures of debt, poverty, low paid and insecure jobs, poor housing, homelessness and loneliness all have a massive impact.

‘I want everyone here to reach their potential, and this is why we’re tackling these areas as well.’

Lord Peter Smith, chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said the partnership is meeting national targets but added ‘that’s not enough’.

He said: ‘We want to keep people well and will work with community groups and volunteers to help support individuals in their communities, or, for those who are suffering serious illness to give them the crisis and long-term help they need to look after their physical and mental health.’

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