A review of values based commissioning in mental health

A review of values based commissioning in mental healthValues based commissioning is an approach to commissioning, in which service users, carers, clinicians and managers all work together as equal partners.

This report provides an evaluation of the West Midlands Mental Health Commissioning Modelling Group, exploring how people could actively participate in, and ultimately take joint ownership of local commissioning.

Download A review of values based commissioning in mental health

The findings show that there continues to be comparatively little service user leadership, or joint decision-making in relation to service design and delivery. Interviewees emphasised the importance of placing service users at the centre of the commissioning process and the need to work in partnership with the new clinical commissioning groups.

However, in order for partnership working to be successful, interviewees identified that ‘professional commissioners’ need to communicate without jargon, and be prepared to share the label of ‘expert’ with the people who use mental health services.

Key findings include:

  • There continues to be comparatively little service user leadership, or joint decision-making in relation to service design and delivery.
  • The rhetoric of ‘service user involvement’ needs to be made a reality. Service users need to be at the centre of the commissioning process and work in partnership with the new clinical commissioning groups.
  • Service users want to work with managers and clinicians as equal partners, but think that a culture shift in attitude and approach is needed before this can happen.
  • In order for partnership working to be successful, ‘professional commissioners’ need to communicate without jargon, and be prepared to share their power and the label of ‘expert’ with people who use mental health services.
  • The concept of ‘commissioning’ and ‘values-based commissioning’ needs to be made easier to understand.
  • There needs to be a greater diversity of service users who are involved in mental health commissioning. Creative and inclusive practices need to be developed in order to make this happen.