“We’ve put a huge amount obviously into NHS mental health care... I think about another £12 billion or so.”

Boris Johnson, Coronavirus Press Briefing

January 5, 2021

In response to a question about mental health during the pandemic, asking what the government was doing to support mentally vulnerable individuals, Johnson said: “We’ve put a huge amount obviously into NHS mental health care... I think about another £12 billion or so.” 

Facts

The figures Johnson is referring to here are figures from 2018/19, when they pledged an increase of £12.2 billion towards the NHS as a whole – not specifically mental health. The most recent support package for NHS mental health announced by Rishi Sunak in November 2020 amounted to just £500m.

Verdict                                                                                                 

Johnson awarded himself some leeway by using the qualifying term “I think”. Nevertheless the assertion that the government had put “another £12bn into mental health” was a gross exaggeration. The true figure was £500m.

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