Ground-breaking mental health commissioning programme is the first of its kind in England

Clinical leaders are gathering tomorrow to share their experiences of a ground-breaking NHS England programme to support GPs commissioning mental health services.

Planning for the future: building on the national leadership support programme and the vision of the 31 London CCG mental health leaders is being held tomorrow in London.

Following the Health and Social Care Act, GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are now responsible for planning and buying mental health services in England. In January the Primary Care Mental Health Leadership Development Programme was launched to improve patient care and develop innovative, collaborative, cost-efficient methods to equip staff to address the needs of Londoners with mental health conditions.

Developed in partnership with UCL Partners Academic Health Science Partnership, and led by Dr Geraldine Strathdee and training expert Glen Monks, the 10-day programme brings together national experts from a range of disciplines, with those teaching on the programme including patients and their families.

Dr Strathdee, NHS England National Clinical Director of Mental Health, said: “The creation of clinical commissioning groups is a tremendous opportunity to look at new ways of working and drive forward excellence in commissioning and delivery of services at a local and regional level.

“We have an exceptional group of staff in the London CCGs who are eager to not only rise to the challenge of taking on the responsibility of mental health commissioning, but drive innovation and improve standards so that we can see a real improvement in outcomes for patients.

“The overarching aim of the programme is to provide support for the development of a more sustainable managed network that will support primary care mental health leadership and be influential in driving improvements in mental health across London, in both commissioning and mental health service provision.”

The speakers at the event include NHS England Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh, Dr Strathdee, Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis University College London Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission David Behan CBE, NHS England Domain 2 Director Dr Martin McShane, Chairman of University College London Partners Professor Cyril Chantler and Glen Monks.