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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

7 days to make a difference

A powerful social media campaign by the college helped to avert cuts to mental health funding in England – at least for the time being.

Last month NHSE England Chief Executive Simon Stevens warned the current funding outlook for healthcare overall made it ‘increasingly difficult’ to deliver the Government’s mental health promises.

Despite extra funding for healthcare in the November budget, the college was concerned NHS England were preparing to announce a reduction in the long promised plans to fund the reforms set out in the Five Year Forward View.

So with a week to go before the critical funding decision, we launched ‘7 days to make a difference’ across our social media channels, challenging patients, psychiatrists and everyone who cares about mental health care to tell us how they would be affected if the money didn’t come through.

The campaign evoked an enormous response, with over 1,000 retweets of our messages through the week. Huge numbers of people shared their fears. See what people said in this story of the campaign.

#StopMHCuts Tweet

The outcome

In the end NHS England Chief executive Simon Stevens said vital plans to improve mental health services will be kept on track - at least for the next financial year.

Our President, Professor Wendy Burn said: “The next step is to make sure that money gets to patients on the front line.

“We’re very worried that local healthcare commissioners are being allowed to divert cash intended for mental health services to pay for debts elsewhere. Commissioners must be held properly to account for the decisions that they make.”

 

 

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