Commissioning Tools

Programme aims
To support and facilitate improved commissioning of mental health and wellbeing, using a value based commissioning model; to support regional leadership and network development, and produce practical tools that are piloted with local commissioners to ensure validity and suitability. The programme aims to inspire the new system to raise commissioning expectations and deliver improved outcomes. It will help commissioners to deliver the Mental Health Strategy Implementation Framework and assure the National Commissioning Board that clinical leadership for mental health within commissioning organisations is being prioritised as reform of the NHS progresses.

Commissioning in mental health is complicated and involves many different players at different levels in health, social care and the third sector. Mental health is everyone’s business. It is important to make care pathways more seamless, to support patient choice, and deliver high quality services for people who may have physical as well as mental health needs. To achieve this, commissioners and their partners need to understand their local populations, the pattern of service provision, evidence relating to effectiveness, as well as what their service users need and want and can contribute. Everyone needs to engage with the principles of values-based commissioning, and support the process of commissioning evidence-based, cost-effective, safe services, delivered to a high standard that offer value for money and take account of individual and community assets.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Commissioning Pack
The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commissioning Pack will help commissioners to make cases for change; understand service costs; know more about local pressures; develop service specifications and contracts and measure the impact of investment in terms of outcomes agreed at national level.

There are four major work-streams:

  1. Needs assessment, service and financial profiling
  2. Cases-for-change, costing tools, service specification and contract inserts
  3. GP Mental Health leadership, skills and network development; and
  4. Communications and knowledge sharing.

A programme board, co-chaired by the JCP (ND) and MHLG (JK), is overseeing things, and is being supported by an Operational Management Group.  Accountability for the content of the tools rests with the JCP; accountability for delivery rests with MHLG; the NHS Confederation holds the contract. Most of the work is funded by the MHLG but needs assessment is funded by NHS London.

What will the Pack look like?
We will deliver free tools that enable commissioners and their partners to quickly access reliable information about mental health needs, the arguments, the services, the costs, the benefits and the best outcomes from care. They will be easy to use and practical, supporting emerging commissioners to do a complicated job well.