People facing mental health crises will be able to get community care 24 hours a day, seven days a week as part of the biggest transformation of NHS mental health services in England for a generation. A wide-ranging set of recommendations by an independent taskforce that surveyed a long-neglected and “chronically underfunded” area of healthcare is backed by a pledge from the NHS in England to help more than a million extra people facing mental health problems and to invest in excess of £1bn annually by 2020-21. The announcement on Monday of the ambitious transformation came as Jeremy Hunt said the government would have to give the NHS “significant” amounts of extra money after 2020, much more than the £10bn being put in before then, so it can cope with the demands of the ageing population. Speaking in his first interview with the Guardian in his three and a half years as health secretary, to mark the end of a month-long This is the NHS series, Hunt said the NHS would need years of above-inflation cash injections, along the lines of those it received under Tony Blair, in order to remain an “incredible” part of British life. He passionately defended… Read full this story
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