The Government has published an ‘implementation framework’ for its mental health strategy, involving a wide range of care services.
A ‘mental health dashboard’, allowing progress against the relevant objectives for the NHS, social care and public health to be measured, will be published in the autumn.
The framework’s core principle, and a priority for the NHS Commissioning Board, is “parity of esteem” between mental and physical healthcare.
Other priorities include giving more people access to evidence-based treatments; ensuring that patients and their families and carers are involved in service design and delivery.
The integration of mental with physical healthcare is reflected in the dual priority of improving the physical health of people with mental illness and the mental health of people with physical illness.
The framework outlines steps that commissioners and service providers, as well as business and the community, can take to improve the prevention and treatment of mental illness.
The CCG authorisation process will require applicants to prove they have the capability “to commission improved outcomes in mental health”. CCGs are urged to appoint a mental health lead at senior level, use specialist support and guidance, focus on early intervention and on recovery, and develop “innovative service models”.
Providers of mental health services should “focus on choice, recovery and personalisation”, as well as the relationship between physical and mental health.
GPs are asked to provide “appropriate early interventions”; to recognise and treat “co-morbidity of physical and mental illness”; to provide a choice of treatment for mental illness; and to develop “good practice in care planning”.
Guidelines for local authorities, health and wellbeing boards, social and public health services, Local Healthwatch and employers are included.
Support for these improvements at a national level will be provided by the NHS Commissioning Board, and by the development of a tariff for mental health services that will “connect payment to recovery and to the patient’s experience”.