Needs assessment, service and financial profiling

The London mental health needs assessment, service and financial profiling tool is mainly aimed at those who assess needs, develop strategy and commission services for people living in London boroughs. This includes health and wellbeing boards and clinical commissioning groups (and those who act on their behalf). However it will also be useful to providers, user representatives, voluntary groups, local offices of the NHS Commissioning Board and others.

The tool will provide:

  • practical support to local areas in assessing mental health needs
  • detailed information for use in local JSNAs
  • quantitative information to inform the development of local  strategy and commissioning of services
  • information on the range and quality of local services against national and comparable benchmarks

The tool will cover four topics:

  • Common mental health problems that are supported in primary care
  • Severe and enduring mental illness
  • Child and adolescent mental health conditions
  • Alcohol and drug substance misuse problems

For each topic the tool will (where possible) include data on population and risk factors, prevalence of MH conditions, population being treated, service availability and utilisation, financial cost and investment, quality and outcomes. There will also be a London report summarising key information for each of the four topics.

What will the tool look like?

The tool will be a flexible and user-friendly resource. The functionality will include:

  • default and alternative graphs for each indicator
  • the ability to compare information with boroughs of their choosing
  • default comparison groups will be the NHSCB London regional and local offices and (where possible) England averages
  • the ability to download datasets
  • the ability to amend a limited amount of key data (eg alternative population data to produce alternative prevalence estimates). This will not include changing formulae.

Developing the tool
The tool is being developed by a consortium comprising Mazars, Paul Brotherton Consulting, the North East Quality Observatory System and the Eastern Region Public Health Observatory. The project involves consultation with a range of stakeholders including primary care trusts, GPs and clinical commissioning groups, providers, service user representatives, clinicians, experts on financial and service data and will take into account evidence from other Mental Health & Wellbeing Commissioning Pack Programme workstreams (particularly the ‘case for change’ documents). The project reports to NHS London (via Dr Geraldine Strathdee, Associate Medical Director – Mental Health) and the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commissioning Pack Programme Board.