Pro Bono Economics' Budget response

29 October 2018

Julia Grant, CEO of Pro Bono Economics (PBE) said the following in response to the Budget Statement delivered today:

“The Chancellor’s Budget speech and accompanying documents provide some helpful colour on the state of the UK’s public finances and how the Government intends to continue funding our public services to the level required in the coming years.”

PBE delivered its first Budget Submission earlier this month to HM Treasury, as we look to contribute further to the debate on wellbeing in Government policy. It highlights the findings of several economic studies we have run over the past year, which illustrate and quantify ways in which the wellbeing of UK citizens can be enhanced through often modest policy interventions.

She continued:

“We are pleased to note the Chancellor’s commitment to dealing with the crisis in young people’s mental health with his promise of additional budget for school teams and guaranteed A&E support in hospitals, as outlined in his speech. But unless resources are also devoted to measurement and to creating an evidence base on the efficacy of treatments and interventions, we simply won’t know if current budgets are being wisely spent or if future budgets stand to be used cost-effectively.    

Currently, the quality of data captured on NHS CAMHS services is woefully inadequate: reporting on mental health should emulate the established reporting models for treatments and care in the realm of physical health. More than half (65%) of all mental health organisations don’t even keep a record of the type of treatment they have provided to the children and young people they seek to help. If the Government, whether today or in the future, really wants to make progress towards its goal of "parity of esteem" between physical and mental health, then we need to start collecting evidence in the form of data on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of treatments and interventions, and to make it key to finding solutions.

We had therefore hoped that this Budget would dedicate more attention to the agenda for wellbeing, particularly through the various initiatives of the Department for Education and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Following on from our first Budget Submission, we intend to continue working with all stakeholders across Government to ensure that the wellbeing agenda remains pertinent and that it continues receive the attention it deserves from policymakers.”

For more information please contact:

Penny Lukats | penny@sensocommunications.com | 0208 563 7738 | 07775 992350

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