Thirteen organisations have come together to
launch the Joint Commissioning
Panel for Mental Health (JCP-MH) and address serious concerns
about the future commissioning of mental health services and public
mental health interventions.
The new body – which includes the Royal
College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of General Practitioners,
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), the NHS
Confederation, Rethink Mental Illness and Mind –will help provide
the practical guidance that GP pathfinder consortia, local
authorities, and PCTs in transition often report is lacking when
commissioning for mental health and wellbeing.
Recent survey results, for example, found that
31% of GPs felt prepared to take on commissioning for mental health
services compared to 75% for diabetes and asthma1.
Dr Neil Deuchar, Commissioning Lead at the
Royal College of Psychiatrists and co-chair of the Panel said:
"Many aspects of the forthcoming government reforms are welcome and
provide fantastic opportunities if commissioners can take full
advantage of them. We felt we had a responsibility to collaborate
and share our collective experience and expertise from the outset.
We want to give current and future commissioners the support and
confidence they will need to make a positive and tangible
At its launch today, the JCP-MH published
Practical Mental Health Commissioning: Volume 1 Setting the
framework has been written for GP pathfinder consortia, local
authorities, as well as PCTs in transition, and is intended to
guide commissioners as they move through a complex and changing
terrain. It provides a clear framework for what mental
health commissioning looks like now, how it will work under the
reforms, and identifies the opportunities to provide care in the
Professor Helen Lester, Commissioning Lead for
Mental Health at the Royal College of General Practitioners and
co-chair of the Panel said: "Our framework is the first of three
briefings that we will publish in the coming months. As a GP
myself, I know that many of my colleagues have great expertise in
working with patients with mental health problems. However,
commissioning services for mental health will be challenging for
many. Producing these briefings, and sharing the knowledge
and experience within mental health, will be invaluable in ensuring
that people have the best possible mental health outcomes."
Steve Shrubb, Director of the NHS
Confederation’s Mental Health Network, said: "We know that for some
GPs commissioning mental health services is an area where they feel
least confident. By bringing together experts from all parts of
mental health – specialist clinicians, social care, providers of
all types, service users and GPs – the panel aims help GPs gain
confidence and expertise in mental health commissioning."
Speaking on behalf of ADASS, Terry Dafter,
Director of Adult Social Care for Stockport, explained that the
JCP-MH was an initiative to help catalyse or strengthen local
action, rather than dictate from the centre. He said: "The
commissioning of mental health services, and the provision of
health promotion and public health interventions, will be locally
driven. The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health supports
this wholly, and aims to provide guidance which can be easily
translated into local and regional action."
For further information, please
Kathy Oxtoby or
Deborah Hart in the Communications
Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 0203 701 2538
The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCP-MH) is a new collaboration between a range of leading organisations with the aim of improving effective commissioning for mental health, learning disabilities, and wellbeing. The JCP-MH is comprised of: the Royal College of General Practitioners; the Royal College of Psychiatrists; the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services; the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network; Mind; Rethink Mental Illness; National Involvement Partnership; National Survivor and User Network; Royal College of Nursing; Healthcare Finance Management Association; Interprofessional Collaborative on Mental Health; National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health; and the British Psychological Society www.jcpmh.info
Note to editors:
1. Concerns have previously been reported about the emerging commissioning of mental health services. Rethink Mental Illness (a member of the JCP-MH), for example, commissioned an independent surveys of 251 GPs and found that 31% felt ‘well-equipped’ to commission mental health services, compared to 75% for diabetes and asthma.