New NHSCC report shows mental health ‘of primary importance’ to CCGs

Primary care MHCN report_clipNHSCC has launched a new report which showcases programmes that are embedding mental health in primary care and draws out advice from the commissioners and practitioners involved in their development and delivery.

‘Of primary importance: Commissioning mental health services in primary care’ highlights projects where CCGs and their partners are delivering better care for patients, working across the boundaries between physical and mental health, as well as health and social care, while at the same time reducing pressure on GPs and hospitals.

Developed by NHSCC’s Mental Health Commissioners Network, the report aims to share learning and good practice from these projects to help support others looking to implement projects across primary care.

Case studies in the report include:

  • Community Living Well in West London which helps those with long-term mental health conditions and covers a full range of psychological therapies from guided self-help, through to sessions of short-term psychodynamic or CBT, carers therapy and a wellbeing service.
  • Work in Sheffield where IAPT workers are attached to each of the CCG’s individual 85 practices, and are incorporated as part of the practice multidisciplinary team.
  • The Well Centre, a primary care health centre in Lambeth for young people aged 13 to 20 offering support with all areas of health including mental wellbeing.

Phil Moore 20160428Dr Phil Moore, Chair of the NHSCC Mental Health Commissioners Network and Deputy Chair of Kingston CCG said: “Clinical commissioning groups led by GPs like myself are well placed to determine which provision can best meet local mental health need. Every day in my GP practice I see people who need support with their mental wellbeing, for a wide variety of reasons – sometimes because of a diagnosed condition, other times because they have a physical health problem making them feel more mentally vulnerable. In many cases I believe the answer to supporting them will be based in primary care but with collaborations across the health and care system.

“This report looks at experiences of people who have fundamentally changed the model of primary mental healthcare in their area. We hope that by sharing these, along with tips which come directly from their experience, it will support and inspire others who are looking to make change in their own area.”

Of primary importance: Commissioning mental health services in primary care draws out key advice from the people involved in the featured projects. In summary these are:

  • Remember patience will be required when creating a new model.
  • Consider partnering with the third sector.
  • Have conversations with your mental health provider to build shared understandings.
  • Explore opportunities to pre-emptively screen for need.
  • Don’t forget the importance of incentives.
  • Consider whether you can apply other primary care models in a mental health context.

Read the full report and find out more about our Mental Health Commissioners Network.

12 October 2017