[A version of this item appears in: Dementia: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWHT), Volume 2 Issue 7, February 2012].
The Mental Health Network had earlier been commissioned by the Department of Health to produce a report which clarifies how to develop an outcomes-based approach to improving mental health. The main recommendations from the report are presented in this briefing, which is targeted at the Government, the NHS Commissioning Board and emerging clinical commissioning groups. The policy context for outcomes in mental health is explained and summarised, including the need to develop an implementation framework in support of the “No health without mental health” strategy.
A case study looks briefly at the example of NHS London, concerning use of the dementia needs assessment pack (entitled “The Chapter”). This is being used across the region. A public health physician has been commissioned to assess the current prevalence of dementia in every London borough, taking into account the demographic profile of the population and likely changes in demand. The percentages of people identified as having dementia currently varies from 30 per cent to 75 per cent, between different areas.
The Chapter supports the examination of models of care for people with dementia and helps to determine how and where efficiency savings could be made; for example, in terms of unplanned and emergency hospital admissions. The aim is to calculate the appropriate level of preventable hospital admissions for local service providers to use as a performance target.
Alastair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia, has developed an expert commissioning pack for dementia.
The development of outcome measures is underway, for use as a model which might be applied more broadly; i.e. to common mental disorders, severe mental illness, drug and alcohol services and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
NICE is holding a pilot to develop Social Care Quality Standards for the care of people with dementia.
NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network (2011). Briefing 231: Developing an outcomes-based approach in mental health. London: Mental Health Network / The NHS Confederation, 2011.