The Department does not generally ring-fence budgets within the National Health Service. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 gave clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) the autonomy to make decisions about the health services that best meet the health needs of their population. They do this based on evidence of patient needs locally.
The NHS Operational Planning and Contracting Guidance applies to CCGs and sets out specific requirements, including commissioning mental health services that meet the needs of local populations. The mental health investment standard and NHS England Mental Health Dashboard have been introduced to ensure transparency and accountability and influence CCGs and specialised commissioning hubs to increase their spend on mental health services by a greater amount than the growth in their programme allocation.