More than £400 million will be committed over the next 4 years to eradicate dormitory accommodation from mental health facilities across the country to improve the safety, privacy and dignity of patients suffering with mental illness.
The pledge builds on the £250 million funding announced in July to remove the outdated dormitories, as part of the government’s record investment in NHS infrastructure.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock also announced the first 21 NHS trusts that will receive funding to replace out-of-date mental health dormitories with single en suite rooms, to help improve care for mental health inpatients across the country.
The eradication of dormitories will improve the individual care that can be given to patients, allowing them to reduce the length of their stay in the facility. It will also have benefits for patient safety including through better infection control and by reducing the risk of incidents involving patients or staff.
This new funding delivers on the government’s commitment to accelerate investment in health infrastructure, and to level up access to mental health services, so that every inpatient can receive treatment in an appropriate setting.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Nadine Dorries said:
NHS England’s National Mental Health Director Claire Murdoch said:
Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:
This comes alongside wider announcements to mark World Mental Health Day yesterday, including £2 million for research into the effects of COVID-19 on mental health. The research will focus on the effects of the pandemic on the mental health and wellbeing of 3 at-risk groups: healthcare workers, children and young people, and those with serious mental health problems.
The government says they have continued to prioritise mental health throughout the pandemic. Mental health charities, including Mind and BEAT, have benefited from £9.2 million in funding since March to enable them to provide vital support to those who need it most.
This funding has been used to support helplines and webchats, providing support networks for people experiencing anxiety and loneliness, providing safe spaces to reduce the risk of social exclusion of vulnerable people with ongoing, complex mental health problems, and move specialist emotional and practical support for victims of sexual violence from face-to-face online.
The government has also invested £5 million in national loneliness charities, raising awareness and providing advice through the Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign, and a new Tackling Loneliness Network, to support the wellbeing of those struggling with social isolation over the pandemic.
The Department for Health and Social Care has pledged to invest £2.3 billion in mental health by 2023 to 2024 as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.