Mental Health Commissioners Network

The Mental Health Commissioners Network’s (MHCN) purpose is to enable members to become more effective mental health commissioners – achieving better mental health and wellbeing outcomes for the populations they serve.

The network is open to CCG clinical mental health commissioning leads and senior CCG managers working in mental health commissioning. It is chaired by Dr Phil Moore, deputy chair at NHS Kingston CCG, who sits on the NHSCC Board as the MHCN representative. Phil talks more about the network in the video below.

The Network is member led and aims to provide

  • A strong collective voice for Mental Health commissioners
  • A place to share best practice with peers
  • Provide development opportunities and peer support to Mental Health commissioners

The network also has a steering group to support its development.

National Health Commissioners Network national event, 01-12-2016.MHCN events

Since it was set up, the MHCN has held a number of events giving members the opportunity to network, share challenges and learning with their peers, and hear from high-profile speakers.



The MHCN’s 2018 annual member event took place on Wednesday 3 October and covered mental health funding, the NHS long-term plan, a number of relevant workshops, and a plenary session on children and young people’s mental health.  The report from the 2 day International Urgent and Emergency Mental Health Summit, Be the Change: ensuring an effective response to all in psychiatric emergency equal to medical care, was launched at the annual event. Presentations from the event can be downloaded.

The MHCN and RI International from the USA, hosted a 2-day International Urgent and Emergency Mental Health Summit in May 2018.  We produced a number of products on the day, and they can all be found on the members section of our website.  Many of these are also in the public domain, and you can download a film of the Rt Hon Norman Lamb talking about why it is important to improve mental health crisis services; the Twitter moment from the event; and a number of podcasts produced on the day.  We produced Be the Change,  a report based on the recommendations formed by delegates at the event.


The MHCN’s 2017 annual member event was held on Thursday 12 October and focused on delivering the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. Members can access presentations via the members only area of our website.

The MHCN held an an event in partnership with the King’s Fund and Royal College of Psychiatrists on mental health in primary care on 7 June 2017. See the presentations from the day.


The MHCN’s annual event in December 2016  titled ‘Delivering the five year forward view for mental health.’ Keynote speakers included Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt and National Director for Mental Health, Claire Murdoch. Members can access the presentations from the day.  There were sessions on topics including primary care and mental health, achieving parity of esteem, perinatal mental health and contracting currencies. Members can access the resources from the day in the members only area of our website.


In April 2015 the MHCN held an event to consider the next steps for commissioning crisis care and recovery services. Following on from this, the MHCN produced a briefing, Commissioning for crisis care and recovery, which brought together the discussions, ambitions and actions that came out of a lively and well attended day.


In 2014 the Network  held two national events with keynote speakers including the Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, the then Minister of State for Care and Support, and Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director for Mental Health, NHS England. Feedback  was positive with members calling these ‘thought-provoking’ and ‘excellent’ with their objectives of being kept up to date, learning from peers, and networking met.


As referred to above, in 2015 the MHCN produced a briefing Commissioning for crisis care and recovery following on from an event themed around this topic.

In September 2016, the network published a briefing Support from the Start: Commissioning for early intervention in mental ill health. This centres on projects that promote early intervention in mental health.

In October 2017, the MHCN published a briefing Of primary importance: Commissioning mental health services in primary care.’  This 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.

Listen to podcasts on parity of esteem

At the NHS Confederation Annual Conference and Event in June 2016, MHCN Chair Dr Phil Moore recorded interviews with two leaders in the mental health arena – Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for health and Claire Murdoch, National Mental Health Director, at NHS England. In both podcasts, the discussions focus on what parity of esteem for mental health looks like and how we achieve it.

If you would like to find out more about the MHCN or are interested in joining please email