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Ministers have been accused of breaking their promises on mental health after £800m earmarked to improve services was diverted to shore up hospitals’ finances.

A leading mental health charity and the Labour party said redirecting the money would hit patient care and hinder the drive, backed by Theresa May, to improve care for people with serious mental health problems.

“It would be incredibly worrying if mental health investment was being sacrificed so that [NHS bodies] can balance their books,” said Mind chief executive Paul Farmer, who chaired the NHS taskforce on mental health that last year recommended sweeping changes, including to funding.

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