NHS slashes funds for top homeless mental health team

Fears for rough sleepers as specialist north London unit faces 42% budget reduction

NHS bosses are under fire for cutting back a team of doctors and nurses who provide mental health care to one of Britain’s largest groups of homeless people.

Camden NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in north London is giving the Focus Homeless Outreach team £219,866 less a year starting on 1 April, a leaked CCG document reveals. One of the team’s two psychiatrists and one of its six nurses will lose their jobs as a result.

Between 2010-11 and 2016-17, health spending increased by an average of 1.2% above inflation and increases are set to continue in real terms at a similar rate until the end of this parliament. This is far below the annual inflation-proof growth rate that the NHS enjoyed prior to 2010 of almost 4% stretching back to the 1950s. As budgets tighten, NHS organisations have been struggling to live within their means. In the financial year 2015-16, acute trusts recorded a deficit of £2.6bn. This was reduced to £800m last year, though only after a £1.8bn bung from the Department of Health, which shows the deficit remained the same year on year.

Related: Rise in rough sleeping is no surprise – it’s now a routine sight | Amelia Gentleman

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