Analysis: Is your CCG meeting the national mental health investment standard?

Our analysis published in June 2017 found that one in seven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) were failing to meet the Mental Health Investment Standard (MHIS) in 2017/18.

MHIS aims to make sure CCGs increase investment in mental health services at a higher percentage than their overall rise in allocation from NHS England each year.

We looked at the spending of 203 CCGs across England through Freedom of Information requests and found that 29 – or 14.3% - were not meeting the standard in 2017/18.

The picture at that time for the following year was not much better, with 21 CCGs (10.3%) expecting to also fail to meet MHIS in 2018/19.

How is the MHIS figure calculated?

By comparing the growth in mental health spend from the previous year to overall programme growth for each CCG.

This is also adjusted for the additional mental health monies included in CCG baselines and spend against ‘new’ mental health funding.

Is my CCG meeting the standard?

Our interactive map illustrates the position on MHIS for all CCGs that responded to our Freedom of Information request. This includes the three main reasons for failing to meet MHIS:

  • Financial constraints faced by the CCG
  • Partnership working with neighbouring CCGs to provide sufficient investment
  • Historically high investment in mental health in the area

Welcome development in new NHS England planning guidance

The College very much welcomed the confirmation from NHS England in its planning guidance for 2018/19 that all CCGs must now meet MHIS.

Previously the commitment was merely that the standard should be met nationally. CCG auditors are also now required to validate the achievement of MHIS when examining 2018/19 accounts.

We will continue to work on further analyses of mental health funding to evaluate whether resources are reaching the frontline and hold commissioners to account.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry