10:10pm Tuesday 15 October 2019

Four new guides to improve mental health commissioning

The guides focus on primary mental health care services, child and adolescent mental health service transitions, dementia services and acute liaison services, and have been produced by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCP-MH).

The short, easy-to-use guides describe what good quality, modern mental health services should look like. They bring together scientific evidence, patient and carer experience and viewpoints, and examples of best practice.

The JCP-MH was launched in March 2011. It is led by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Royal College of General Practitioners, in collaboration with 15 other leading organisations with an interest in mental health, learning disabilities and wellbeing.

The organisations came together to address concerns about the future commissioning of mental health services, and use their shared expertise to support current and future commissioners in commissioning mental health care that delivers the best possible outcomes.

Professor Helen Lester, Commissioning Lead for Mental Health at the Royal College of General Practitioners and co-chair of the Panel said: “As a practising GP, I know that it can often be challenging to get the right care in the right place at the right time for people with mental health problems. The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health has written guides full of good ideas for commissioners, based on case studies of what works in practice as well as the research evidence base. Every commissioning group should have a set of these guides close at hand.”

Dr Neil Deuchar, Commissioning Lead at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Co-Chair of the JCP-MH said: “We know that commissioning mental health services can be challenging, particularly in these times of uncertainty and change. By bringing together experts from all parts of mental health – specialist clinicians, social care, providers of all types, service users and GPs – the panel aims help current and future commissioners gain confidence and expertise in ‘values-based’ mental health commissioning.”

Steve Shrubb, Director of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network which is part of the JCP-MH, said: “We know that there is massive potential for GPs to improve the nation’s mental health as they take over commissioning of NHS services. The vast majority of NHS care is offered in primary care and with GPs in control of organising care patients there is a real opportunity to improve care for patients. We also know that many GPs themselves recognise that they do not yet have all the skills they need to commission mental health services. We are really keen to support GPs as they take over their new responsibilities and these guides provide a really important resource which is backed up by the best available evidence.”

Speaking on behalf of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Terry Dafter, Director of Adult Social Care for Stockport, said: “This has been a genuinely collaborative exercise between all key stakeholders involved in commissioning mental health services. These are interesting and challenging times for everyone and the spirit of partnership working is reflected in this latest set of guides. ADASS hopes that they will form a useful tool and benchmark for commissioners of mental health services who have an interest in a values-based approach to their work.”

A further 10 guides are currently in production covering: addictions services, acute mental health care, child and adolescent mental health services, community mental health services, eating disorder services, forensic services, perinatal services, public mental health interventions, rehabilitation services, and services for older people.

Download copies of the guides

Guides for commissioners of mental health services external link icon

Further information

RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7574/7575/7576/7569
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editors

The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCP-MH) is a collaboration of leading organisations with an interest in mental health, learning disabilities, and wellbeing. It exists to provide current and future commissioners with knowledge, practical guidance, evidence, and insight. The JCP-MH is a partnership between: Royal College of General Practitioners; Royal College of Psychiatrists; Association of Directors of Adult Social Services; NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network; Mind; Rethink Mental Illness; Afiya Trust; National Involvement Partnership; National Survivor and User Network; Royal College of Nursing; Healthcare Financial Management Association; British Psychological Society; Department of Health; Mental Health Providers Forum; New Savoy Partnership; representatives of the English Strategic Health Authorities; and representatives from specialised commissioning.

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