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More than half of CCG mental health services require improvement


28 October 2016

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Some 60% clinical commissioning groups have been rated as needing improvement in new ranking data released by NHS England.

As part of the new Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework (CCG IAF) for 2016/17, NHS England released initial ratings for mental health.

Some 60% clinical commissioning groups have been rated as needing improvement in new ranking data released by NHS England.

As part of the new Clinical Commissioning Group Improvement and Assessment Framework (CCG IAF) for 2016/17, NHS England released initial ratings for mental health.

The ratings, which are published on MyNHS, revealed that of the 209 CCGs, 106 were rated as ‘needs improvement’, while 21 were rated as having the ‘greatest need for improvement’.

Five areas were taken into account including Improving Access to Psychological Therapies recovery rate; percentage of people starting treatment within two weeks of referral after first episode of psychosis; children and young People’s mental health outcomes; crisis care and liaison mental health services; and out of area placements for acute mental health inpatient care.

NHS England said in a statement that the data will help CCGs self-assess more effectively and target areas, which need improvement.

Professor Tim Kendall, NHS England’s national clinical director for mental health, said there is “significant work to be done to improve mental health services in England”.

He said: “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.

He added: “Although the baseline CCG IAF ratings, published today, 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.”

NHS England has also released a new integrated "dashboard" for mental health, bringing together data from across the broad range of mental health services in each CCG.

The dashboard, which will be refreshed quarterly, is in response to the recommendation in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health that NHS England create a tool “that will identify metrics for monitoring key performance and outcomes data and that that will allow us to hold national and local bodies to account for implementing this strategy.”

Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said the dashboard represents a level of local transparency that is “unprecedented for any mental health service anywhere in the world”.

He said: “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.”

Stephen Dalton, chief executive at NHS Confederation, added that mental health services “have been relegated to a poor second tier when it comes to NHS investment and prioritisation”.

He said: "Today we see the first clear signs that NHS England is determined to turn this around and give parity to mental health.

“Our staff on the frontline should be thanked and those who need our services would rightly remind us we are far from offering the services required in every community.

“The challenge is to ensure standards are now universally applied, and regular transparent publication of the data is key to building trust.

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