This guide is about commissioning services for people with acute mental health needs. It explains the purpose, characteristics and components of acute care so that commissioners can commission good quality services that are therapeutic, safe and support recovery.
No part of mental health care works in isolation from other services and this guide should be read alongside other guides in this series, in particular those setting out best practice guidance in primary care mental health services, specialist community services and rehabilitation services.
This guide is for:
- any commissioner wishing to gain an overview of how a high quality acute care pathway can be commissioned
- Clinical Commissioning Groups as the primary commissioners of acute care
- local authorities who commission local Healthwatch, advocacy services and other services that contribute to the acute care pathway
- Health and Wellbeing Boards in their strategic role
- NHS England as it supports and holds to account clinical commissioning groups
- the Strategic Clinical Network for Mental Health, Dementia and Neurological Conditions as it works to improve patient care
- acute care service providers, and providers of other services that promote the recovery and social inclusion of people using or moving on from acute care
- Public Health England as reducing mental disorder and promoting wellbeing is an important part of their role and also contributes to a range of other public health priorities.