New atlas highlights the variations in social care spending on mental health services across England


Following on from the publication of the NHS Atlas of Variation in Healthcare and the NHS Atlas for Children and Young People, there is now an atlas which looks at the variations in social care services across England.

The report, put together by Health Mandate, focuses on four main outcomes:

  1. Enhancing quality of life for people with care and support needs
  2. Delaying and reducing the need for care and support
  3. Ensuring that people have a positive experience of care and support
  4. Safeguarding adults whose circumstances make them vulnerable and protecting from avoidable harm

Mental health spending accounts for over 10% of the health budget, but local authorities allocate just 4% of additional social care funding from PCTs to mental health services.

The atlas contains two maps (on pages 21-22) that show how much of the social care budget is spent on mental health by PCTs across England. The range of spending is wide with more than half of PCTs (54%) allocating no additional funding towards mental health services, but some allocating over 30%.

The report contains one key recommendation specifically relevant to mental health:

  • Health and wellbeing boards should complete Joint Strategic Asset Assessments of the range of services available for people with mental health needs as part of their Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWBS)


An atlas of variations in social care: an analysis of the quality of social care services in England (PDF). Health Mandate, June 2012.

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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