The White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS (Department of Health 2010) sets out a vision for the National Health Service that promises to be one the most extensive reforms in its history with the role of the general practitioner (GP) is at its heart. No Health without Mental Health (DH 2011), focused on empowering practitioners to have the freedom to innovate and to drive improvements in services. This included the establishment of GP consortia joint commissioning arrangements to develop innovative mental health services. Giodano (2011:6) suggests that it is vital that GPs develop leadership capacities to operate within a complex web of relationships.
The East of England Mental Health Commissioning and Leadership Skills Development Programme was formally established in 2012 with the aim of providing outcome focused, personalised and appropriate support to MH commissioning leaders. Early literature in relation to the programme was primarily aimed at GP commissioners, however membership is also open to non-GP, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Local Authority (LA) and Public Health commissioners with attendance at the workshops reflective of this.There is no minimum skill or experience level required to take part in the programme and formal learning objectives are not defined, however the programme does take into consideration the varying skill level of those taking part.
To evaluate the extent of which the East and South of England programmes have:
- Supported GPs / commissioners to develop leadership and commissioning skills.
- Supported GPs / commissioners to commission integrated MH services needed by local patient and service users.
- Promoted the sharing of best practice and resources.
- To compare approaches and outcomes between both leadership programmes
For further information about this project please contact Emma Dickerson, Senior Programme Support Officer at NIHR CLAHRC East of England