Mental health cuts planned

MENTAL health services in Comet country could face big cuts. North Herts and Stevenage Primary Care Trust has started a public consultation to seek local opinion on proposed reductions to mental health services. The financial squeeze on the NHS caused by

MENTAL health services in Comet country could face big cuts.

North Herts and Stevenage Primary Care Trust has started a public consultation to seek local opinion on proposed reductions to mental health services.

The financial squeeze on the NHS caused by overspending means the PCT - which buys health services for local residents - has identified where costs need to be reduced across the whole of the health service including mental health expenditure.

A spokesman for Letchworth Mind said they understand the health service needs to make cuts but they would like to see money spent more wisely on preventative measures and removing the sigma of mental health.

She said: "More people need to be encouraged to seek help when they first experience difficulties in order to nip it in the bud before it is too late."

She said one in four people suffer from mental health and she wants to see more services provided in the community rather than in hospitals.

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l The consultation concludes on Wednesday May 3. You can find out more about the proposed changes by visiting the PCT website at www.nhst-pct.nhs.uk or by requesting a consultation document from 01462 708470 (ext 318).

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