The Government enshrined parity of esteem in physical and mental health in law in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The NHS Constitution now states that the National Health Service “is designed to improve, prevent, diagnose and treat both physical and mental health problems with equal regard”.
The Department is investing in mental health to expand and improve services via the Mental Health Five Year Forward View. Spending on mental health increased to a planned £11.86 billion in 2017/18. NHS England’s Mental Health Investment Standard requires the local NHS clinical commissioning groups to increase mental health investment by at least the same proportion as overall allocations.
The Government’s mandate to NHS England for 2018-19 states that clinical commissioning groups should show “measurable progress towards the parity of esteem for mental health enshrined in the NHS Constitution, particularly for those in vulnerable situations”.