Mental Health Taskforce

Formed in March 2015, the independent Mental Health Taskforce brought together health and care leaders, people who use services and experts in the field to create a Five Year Forward View for Mental Health for the NHS in England.

This national strategy, which covers care and support for all ages, was published in February 2016 and signifies the first time there has been a strategic approach to improving mental health outcomes across the health and care system, in partnership with the health arm’s length bodies.

In July 2016, NHS England published an Implementation Plan to set out the actions required to deliver the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. The Implementation Plan brings together all the health delivery partners to ensure there is cross-system working to meet the recommendations made by the Taskforce.

The taskforce was chaired by Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, and the vice chair was Jacqui Dyer who is an expert-by-experience and a carer. It included members from the partner arm’s length bodies who hold critical responsibilities related to the planning and delivery of care, as well as representatives from the voluntary sector and professional bodies.

Members of the taskforce were responsible for making sure that there was cross-system commitment and alignment when developing actions within the national strategy and that continued partnership, working effectively and meaningfully, enables the strategy to be delivered.

Paul Farmer and other taskforce members continue to be involved in the oversight of the delivery of the taskforce recommendations through an independent advisory and oversight group.

The strategy was the product of wide ranging engagement with people with personal experience of mental health issues, families, carers and professionals as well as the review of clinical and economic evidence. Over 20,000 people gave their views to the taskforce – an unprecedented level of feedback which clearly demonstrates that people are passionate about improving mental health care and support across the NHS. The findings from that engagement work were included in a report published in September 2015.

Improvements in access to high quality services, choice of interventions, integrated physical and mental health care, prevention initiatives, funding and challenging stigma were people’s top priorities as to how the system needs to change by 2020. This feedback directly shaped the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

Blogs

Case studies

Find out more about how mental health care across the NHS is changing and developing to better meet people’s needs with our case studies.