PATIENTS in Lancashire enjoy one of the highest spends per person on mental health services in the country.

The NHS budgeted to spend £330m on mental health services in Lancashire and South Cumbria in 2018/19 – roughly £196 per head or 13.4 per cent of its base funding allocation..

But research from mental health charity Mind showed a postcode lottery for mental health services leaves vulnerable people in some regions struggling with little more than half the NHS funding of those in the best-resourced areas.

In Surrey Heartlands, one of the 44 NHS groupings that cover England, the average annual spend on mental health services per head of population is £124.48. In South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, which allocates more than any other region, it is £220.63.

The analysis by Mind showed all areas were increasing their mental health budgets in line with the overall increase in spending - part of a requirement set by the senior leadership in the NHS.

But that masked the big variations that still existed, according to the projected spending levels in 2018-19.

Geoff Heyes, head of health policy and influencing at Mind, said: “The treatment you get shouldn’t depend on where you live.

"We are nearly at the end of the five-year plan the NHS set out for itself in which it promised to make serious financial investment to improve mental health services.

“We are seeing some positive change on the ground, across the country, but a long-term historic postcode lottery still exists.”

A spokesman for NHS England said: “The fact is overall spending on mental health across the country has gone up year on year, and every local area is on track to meet the mental health investment standard: seeing an increasing number of people in good time.

“As Mind also acknowledge, funding for mental health services will grow faster than the overall NHS budget over the next five years, with a new ringfenced local investment fund worth at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023-24 helping an extra 345,000 young people and 370,000 more adults as part of the long-term plan.”