New ratings that show how well – or not – local NHS mental health services are performing have been published by NHS England.
As part of the new Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework (CCGIAF) for 2016/17, an initial baseline rating of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in six clinical priority areas is being published, including mental health.
The ratings, which are broken down by CCGs and published on MyNHS, show areas in need of improvement, but also highlight areas where practice is good, so CCGs can self-assess more effectively. Where improvements are required, NHS England will offer support packages to enable that to happen.
For mental health, CCGs will be able to monitor their progress in improving quality of services outlined in Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.
The CCG improvement and Assessment Framework baseline rating for mental health focuses on elements of two national standards – the number of people who are moving to recovery following treatment from Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services, and those receiving treatment within two weeks of referral when experiencing a first episode of psychosis.
NHS England has also published a new integrated ‘dashboard’ for mental health, bringing together data from across mental health services. This will provide a valuable resource for NHS England to help track improvement at CCG level and allow areas to understand where they need to target their efforts to improve services locally.
NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, said: “This new level of local transparency is unprecedented for any mental health service anywhere in the world. Over the next five years, we want to see major improvements in NHS mental services. These figures for last year transparently lay out the starting baseline against which everyone will be able to judge whether the NHS is getting better in each and every town, city and county across England.”
Professor Tim Kendall, NHS England’s national clinical director for mental health, added: “We know there is significant work to be done to improve mental health services in England. In our five-year strategy the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health we laid out very clear plans to help more than a million extra people and invest more than a billion pounds a year by 2020/21.
“NHS England has also launched the first national standards to increase access to evidence-based mental health services which will kick-start the transformation needed to achieve our ambitions for the next five years. Although the baseline CCGIAF ratings… highlights the scale of change needed these services, we know that performance has improved in recent months meaning that people are already getting better access to services and recovery rates are rising across the country.
“The new mental health dashboard… will not only provide transparency, but also and help local areas to identify where they need to improve and invest in mental health services so that these are fit for purpose for all those people who need them.”