mental health services

London receives more resources for mental healthcare than provincial cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool, despite similar levels of deprivation and need, argue John Mahoney and Sashi Sashidharan

The government has issued its new mental health strategy, and the national service framework is nearing completion. What is now needed is a national strategy for equitable resource allocation for mental health services at district health authority level.

It has been consistently argued that London has greater needs. The recent King's Fund report, London's Mental Health, argues that the needs of Londoners are far greater than the rest of the country, including other deprived large cities.1 The argument that London represents a special case is based predominantly on levels of deprivation. But this assertion is largely untested, and on almost every index of deprivation Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool are similar to London.