£1bn investment in children's mental health care announced in 2015 Budget

Chancellor George Osborne failed to mention the NHS in his 2015 Budget speech on Wednesday, but the government later announced funding to improve children's mental health and health data schemes.

Chancellor George Osborne: Budget omitted to mention NHS (Photo: Julian Dodd)
Chancellor George Osborne: Budget omitted to mention NHS (Photo: Julian Dodd)

The chancellor spoke for an hour as he outlined his final Budget before the May general election, but there was no mention of the NHS in his speech.

Labour leader Ed Miliband criticised the omission, telling MPs he was ‘astonished’ that Mr Osborne did not include the NHS in his Budget statement.

But the government confirmed after Mr Osborne's statement in the House of Commons that £1.25bn had been secured by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as part of the Budget, which will be directed towards helping children and new mothers with mental health issues.

Mental health investment

The money will help provide 110,000 more children gain rapid access to mental health treatments in what Mr Clegg said would bring about ‘a seismic shift to revolutionise children’s mental healthcare’.

‘There would be an outcry if a child with diabetes was left to cope without support or treatment. But that’s exactly what’s been happening with young people’s mental health services,’ he said.

‘By introducing access and waiting time standards and committing to talking therapies for children in every region, we are helping to build a fairer society where young people can get the right treatment and support they deserve to live a better life.’

A further £20m has been set aside as part of the Budget to fund four health and social care information projects.

The Connected Health Cities project, which will be delivered by the Northern Health Service Alliance (NHSA), will compile large-scale city-wide data on 15m people in the north of England. Its findings will be used to help shape future health and social care services.

Dr Hakim Yadi, chief executive of the NHSA said: ‘Health North will be a world first in civic partnerships sharing existing information to improve health and social care.  By following patients through different services and extracting information from many different organisations and databases, we can begin to drive health and social care transformation in the North.’

Lifetime pension cut

In his speech, Mr Osborne unveiled plans to cut the lifetime pension relief allowance from £1.25m to £1m, which he said would reap savings of £600m.

The lifetime allowance will be indexed from 2018, he added, to help ensure those building up their pension pots are protected from inflation.

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