Implementing the Mental Health Forward View

The independent Mental Health Taskforce published its Five Year Forward View in February 2016 which set out the current state of mental health service provision in England and made recommendations in all service areas.

NHS England accepted all the recommendations in the report for which it held responsibility and it was agreed with the Government that to support this transformation, mental health services will benefit from additional investment of £1bn per year by 2020/21.

In July 2016, NHS England published an Implementation Plan detailing how it will deliver the recommendations made by the Taskforce working with its partner arms-length bodies. The Plan presents the timeframes and funding for delivery of the programmes of work which will transform mental health services.

It shows how the delivery partners will work together at national and local level, and how they will be held to account for meeting the timeframes and for using the funding in the most effective way.

During 2015/16, work began to lay the foundations for better, more responsive and accessible mental health services. These have included new access and waiting times for psychological therapies and early intervention in psychosis which came into force from April 2016 with eating disorder services for young people following in 2017.

Immediate priorities for service redesign are:

  • to increase access to specialist perinatal care
  • to reduce the number of out of area placements for children, young people and adults through the provision of more care closer to and at home
  • to increase access to crisis care liaison services in emergency departments and inpatient wards
  • suicide prevention.

NHS England has established strong governance structures to oversee the work and to hold the health and care system to account for improving mental health services.

The Mental Health and Dementia Programme Board is chaired by Claire Murdoch, national implementation director for mental health, and includes director-level representatives from the primary care, specialised commissioning, finance and clinical teams within NHS England.

Delivery partners across the system are also represented including Public Health England, Health Education England, the Care Quality Commission, NHS Improvement, the Department of Health and NHS Digital.

The Board’s role is to drive forward the improvements needed in mental health services and to ensure there is system-wide leadership and an integrated approach to all aspects of health and care. The Mental Health and Dementia Programme Board reports into the NHS England Executive Group.

The work of the Board is underpinned by the Mental Health Five Year Forward View Advisory and Oversight Group: a panel of independent experts external to NHS England which is chaired by Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind and the chair of the mental health taskforce. Current members include representatives from national stakeholder organisations, mental health professional bodies, providers, commissioners and users of mental health services.

Implementation plan

Read the full Implementation Plan for the Mental Health Five Year Forward View.

For ease, we have also broken down the implementation plan into individual chapters: