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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

National Collaborating Centre For Mental Health


The NCCMH, in partnership with the British Psychological Society, has been tasked by NHS England and NICE to develop products that support the Achieving Better Access to Mental Health Services programme

The products, guides and planning tools, are for commissioners and other service providers to support the implementation of evidence-based treatment pathways, including access to NICE-recommended care.


The National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health has been commissioned by NHS England to produce recommendations for NHS leaders and Commissioners to plan staffing in NHS Mental Health Services to maximise patient recovery and health. This programme (‘The Effective, Safe, Compassionate and Sustainable Staffing (ESCASS) Programme’) builds on and supports the NQB safe staffing improvement resource Supporting NHS providers to deliver the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time - Safe, Sustainable and Productive Staffing which was published on 6 July 2016.  As part of this work, a setting specific improvement resource for mental health services has been developed which was supported by NCCMH through a review of literature.

The ESCASS programme provides an opportunity to undertake a wider review of literature and subsequent findings will build on existing recommendations. Specifically the developments will also include detail of the competency requirements across recently developed evidence based treatment pathways and adopt a skills-based approach to workforce planning and positioning work at commissioners as much as providers to support long term workforce planning.

It is anticipated that this programme of work is completed by the end of 2017. NHSI and HEE will be part of the governance and oversight of the ESCASS work, and the NHSI improvement tool will be updated according to specific recommendations made by NCCMH/NHSE.


Established in 2001, for 15 years the NCCMH specialised in developing NICE clinical guidelines, standalone evidence reviews, health technology assessments (HTAs), as well as international clinical guideline development training and consultancy services. On 1 April 2016 the NCCMH clinical guideline programme was transferred to the new guideline development centre, the National Guideline Alliance, at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.


Evidence-Based Treatment Pathway

To find out more about current work undertaken by the NCCMH go to the Evidence-Based Treatment Pathway page.


Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention Competence Framework

Health Education England (HEE) has commissioned the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) to develop a self-harm and suicide prevention competence framework. This framework will bear resemblance to those previously developed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ and University College London’s Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness (CORE). The framework will be relevant to a wide audience from many different professional bodies as well as the general public.

The NCCMH is recruiting for the following positions to support this work:

  • Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry and/ or Clinical Psychology and/or Nurse specialist
  • Expert Reference Group Members

Read more about the roles and find out how to apply >>>


Further Information

For more information about the NCCMH products and guidelines, please email Tom Ayers,
Senior Associate Director: tom.ayers@rcpsych.ac.uk .

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