Thousands to benefit from kick-start of mental health services transformation

Thousands of children and adults of all ages with conditions such as psychosis, depression and anxiety will be among the first to benefit from improved services as work starts on a major transformation programme for mental health care.

Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health‘, published today, outlines the changes people will see on the ground over the coming years in response to the Mental Health Taskforce’s recommendations to improve care.

In the foreword Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s new National Director for Mental Health, said: “The costs of mental ill health – whether to the individual, their family or carer, the NHS or wider society – are stark. So today we’re kick starting national action to overhaul and expand this long neglected part of the NHS.”

Intended as a blueprint for the changes that NHS staff, organisations and other parts of the system can make to improve mental health, the plan also gives a clear indication to the public and people who use services what they can expect from the NHS, and when.

The report details how new funding, pledged in response to the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, rising to £1bn a year by 2020/21 in addition to the cumulative £1.4bn already committed for children, young people and perinatal care, will be made available for CCGs year on year. It also shows how the workforce requirements will be delivered in each priority area and outlines how data, payment and other system levers will support transparency.

Four areas which will see immediate action as a result of this plan include:

Investment of £72 million over two years to better integrate physical and mental health services

Expanding psychological therapies in up to a third of all CCGs through building ‘Integrated Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)’ services – co-located in and integrated with physical health services – to improve health for people with mental health and long-term physical health problems or persistent unexplained medical symptoms. £17.8 million of funding in 2016/17 and up to £54 million in 2017/18 will go directly to training new staff and delivering new ‘early implementer’ integrated services.

A new pilot with investment of £1.8m initially directed at six pilot sites testing new approaches to delivering mental health care

Putting budgets in the hands of local providers and commissioners to drive the design of new approaches to delivering secure mental health services and children and young people’s mental health services, with a focus on reducing admissions and lengths of stay, and bringing those people placed out of area closer to home.

Clear plans for how £365m allocated for specialist perinatal mental health services over the next five years will help 30,000 more women per year

This includes a proposal to set up a perinatal community development fund during 2016/17 to invite bids from local areas (including STP footprints) to begin to develop specialist teams and to improve quality, with a particular focus on areas of under-capacity. Bids will be invited in the autumn for investment over up to three years as the size of the fund grows. From 2019/20, this will be mainstreamed into CCG allocations.

A £12m roll-out over next two years of Liaison and Diversion services, for people who may have mental health needs and find themselves in the court system or police services

Services will be available across the whole country by 2020.

Building on the 16 existing teams around the country specifically designed to serve around 50,000 people a year who need a mental health assessment following arrest – around 70% of who go on to require support – the new money will ensure this service can be rolled out to all people who need it by 2020.

Claire Murdoch said: “This roadmap for implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health will improve access and outcomes, reduce inequality and deliver efficiencies across the local health and care economy.

“As well as setting out our expectations of the NHS, we have outlined how national partners will work together to provide the right enabling structures and frameworks, to support and help drive improvements in mental health over the coming years.

“Other organisations who have a role to play such as social care, employers, schools are also paramount to the success of this work. The need for action cannot be ignored. It is now up to all of us to make this a reality.”

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind and independent chair of NHS England’s mental health taskforce, said:
“We welcome the publication of the implementation plan, which provides detail on how services will reach a million more people a year by 2020/21.

“As chair of the Advisory and Oversight Group I will be keeping a close eye on progress and helping to make sure that the services and government departments involved are on track. The implementation plan is a step in the right direction, but we cannot afford to become complacent. The job is just beginning and we must all play our part.”

President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, said: “The Royal College of Psychiatrists promised to play our part in delivering the objectives set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. We stand by this.

“To provide the best care though our profession first needs to take better care of its own; to ensure that the needs of the mental health workforce are met. NHS staff are having a tough time at the moment, and we know that staff morale and well-being directly impacts on patient care.

“We are pleased therefore to see the health and wellbeing of the NHS workforce being taken seriously. Funding to support the development of plans to improve mental health support for NHS staff is money well spent.”

Pilot sites

Successful sites for testing new approaches to tertiary care:


  • West London: West London NHS Trust (with Central and North West London FT, Priory and Like Minded)
  • North East and North Yorkshire: Tees, Esk and Wear Valley FT


  • West Midlands: Birmingham and Solihull FT (with South Staffs and Shropshire FT and St Andrew’s)
  • Oxford and Thames Valley: Oxford Health FT (with Berkshire FT, Dorset FT, CNWL, Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Trust)
  • South London Partnership (South London and Maudsley FT, Oxleas FT, South West London and St Georges NHS Trust)
  • South West: Devon Partnership NHS Trust (with Avon and Wiltshire FT, Cornwall FT, Dorset FT, 2gether FT, Cygnet, Partnerships in Care, Livewell)