Supporting the development of mental health services for 2020 and beyond


How we’re supporting NHS providers to achieve parity of esteem between mental and physical health.

Mental health organisations have led the way in delivering patient centred transformative change, however there is a long way to go as mental illness remains one of the biggest causes of ill health, maternal death and premature death.

As a nation we need to change our mindset towards mental health by:

  • building resilience in our children
  • preventing people becoming mentally unwell
  • providing fair and quick access to those experiencing mental illness and supporting their recovery

Our shared vision is to achieve genuine parity of esteem between physical and mental health by 2020 and to support this we are working on a range of projects, looking at improvements we can make internally as well as supporting providers to improve.

  • Change starts at home
  • Supporting providers to improve
  • Our priorities in mental health
  • Publications to support the NHS
  • How can we help you?

Change starts at home

We have pledged to become a ‘Time to Change employer’ to help tackle the stigma and discrimination around mental health within the workplace. 

We want to look after our staff and encourage openness to discussions around mental health and wellbeing, and to support this we run a series of talks for our staff from internal and external speakers working in this field.

We are also training some of our staff to become mental health first aid trainers, teaching people how to identify, understand and help a person who may be developing a mental health issue.  

Supporting providers to improve

We are working in the following areas to support you with your work in mental health: 

  • providing development support through our regional and central teams
  • pushing forward the improvement movement within the NHS
  • engaging clinical leaders in mental health services to ensure we have maximum clinical engagement with our work

Our priorities in mental health

Some of our priorities include:

  • establishing a new access target which implements the recommendations from Nigel Crisp's Independent Commission and Mental Health Taskforce
  • supporting your local work to use data and analysis to drive care improvement (from board to ward)
  • building a support offer to help you embed improvement science, quality improvement and methodology, and to try and help tackle long standing issues (for example 100%+ occupancy)
  • supporting you to develop more transparent and evidence-based local payment approaches
  • aligning with national partners (for example NHS England) to ensure that our improvement offer aligns with the work that they lead on
  • sharing learning across physical and mental health, for example how you can learn from other providers
  • facilitating peer learning by putting providers with a particular challenge in touch with others we know have strengths in that area
  • exploring practical issues concerning implementation of your chosen mental health payment approach 
  • measuring performance against relevant mental health standards

Publications to support the NHS

How can we help you?

You have led the way in transforming models of care and we know we have a lot to learn from the mental health community.

If you have any examples of how your trust is working towards establishing equality between physical and mental health, or if there are any challenges you would like our help with, please email

We also welcome your recommendations for any useful online improvement tools, resources or networks to add to our improvement directory to help others benefit from them too.

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