FINANCE: Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust risks losing £13.1m due to proposed contractual changes by commissioners.

Mental health trusts are in “despair” as commissioners re-tender contracts and impose cuts, board papers reveal.

Birmingham commissioners have issued notice on an £8m addiction services contract with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust and a day services contract worth £1.1m.

They have also indicated they are likely to reduce the contract for psychotherapy and are reducing Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services by £2.6m.

In addition, the trust faces a potential loss of £1.14m of income due to overperformance.

A primary care trust-led consultation on changes to day care services has had to be drawn up again due to “flaws and omissions” in the original consultation, leading to further uncertainty for the trust, according to board papers.

The concerns were detailed in a report by trust chief executive Sue Turner in the most recently published board papers for a meeting on 24 November.

The picture is not uncommon, according to another West Midlands trust.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust chair Glyn Shaw is quoted in board minutes as acknowledging “the despair amongst mental health trusts around commissioners’ attempts to place big financial cuts in mental health”.

Trust director of finance, IT and estates Ian Baines was aware of “angst amongst mental health trusts” and said that the trust was “maintaining a clear stance with commissioners that [it] would provide services consistent with the funding set out in the operating framework”.

Mental health services are also being cut by local government organisations.

In the East Midlands, Lincolnshire County Council is consulting on plans to reduce funding for child and adolescent mental health services provided by Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust.