Chief Executive marks first year with call to increase mental health funding

Aidan Thomas says Government must deliver on parity of esteem promise

Chief Executive marks first year with call to increase mental health funding
05 September 2014

The Chief Executive of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust has called for increased funding for mental health services.

Aidan Thomas has said it is now time for the Government to deliver on its promise of “parity of esteem” between mental health and physical health.

Speaking on the first anniversary of him taking over as Chief Executive of CPFT, Mr Thomas said: “There has never been a more challenging time for trusts like ours.

“While we are faced with increasing numbers of people being referred to us, we are also forced to make huge cost-savings. In the next year alone, we are faced with having to save £5 million.

“This is placing huge pressure on our teams as they deal with all those who need our help, from the very young to the elderly.

“I have visited those teams myself over the last year, worked shifts alongside them, and seen for myself the daily pressures they are dealing with.

“We know the number of people who require our services is only going to increase in the future, but the current situation, where funding for general hospital services continues to rise but funding for mental health and some children’s community services is being reduced, remains unfair.

“The Government has said that parity of esteem will be achieved in 2015, but saying it is fine. Many other trusts who offer treatment and support for those with mental health are in the same position. For their sake, and for the sake of my teams, it is now vital that the Government sets out how that promise will be delivered.”

CPFT provides mental health and learning disability services across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, along with children’s community services in Peterborough.

Mr Thomas said: “We have more than 2,000 staff based across 50 sites and the enormous breadth of our work fills me with great pride. It was brought home to me at our annual staff awards where we honoured a huge variety of teams from the staff at the reception at the Cavell Centre in Peterborough, through to those who work with service-users with learning disabilities at Darwin Nurseries in Cambridge.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year, and although the next 12 months will bring many more challenges, I think we can look forward to the future with much optimism.

“I have worked for the NHS for nearly 30 years and there has always been change. While that will continue I believe – with more help from the Government - that CPFT is in a very good place to continue offering first class services. Most importantly, we will continue to put patients and service-users at the very heart of everything we do, and continue to help those who need it most.”

ENDS
      
For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767
 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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