AMs show commitment to ring-fencing of mental health funding

Yesterday (Wednesday 2nd April) a plenary debate about Childand Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) took place at the NationalAssembly. During the debate an amendment to the proposed motion was unanimouslyagreed stating that the National Assembly:

Notesthe commitment of the Welsh Government to ring-fence spending on mental healthservices and calls upon the Minister for Health and Social Services to publishinformation to demonstrate that it is monitoring and delivering this commitmentand how it is impacting upon CAMHS services.

Hafal briefed all AMs before the debate and made thefollowing point on ring-fencing:

The Welsh Government has ring-fenced mental healthexpenditure across all age groups since 2008 with the intention of protectingmental health expenditure and facilitating investment in services. This hasbeen widely welcomed and supported by people who use mental health services andby carers, and has sent out a very strong message to Health Boards that theyshould protect these valuable services for a highly vulnerable group of people.However, there appears to be a lack of openness and transparency in recordingand reporting how and where money is spent.

Hafal Chief Executive Bill Walden-Jones comments: “We knowthat the Minister is personally committed to the ring-fence and we look forwardto seeing his report on its specific effect on CAMHS. Ring-fencing is an importantprotection for mental health services as it goes some way towards dealing withthe problem of mental health being the Cinderella service of the NHS.

“But we need much greater transparency on ring-fencingso that patients and their carers can verify that funding for mental healthservices is protected as intended.”

For full details of the plenary debate including the fullmotion as agreed go to: