New NICE guide to commissioning mental health services

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NICE have published a new guide to help commissioners, clinicians and managers who commission services for people with common mental health disorders.

Here’s the blurb from the NICE press release:

Approaching the commissioning of mental health services as part of an integrated care pathway and illustrated with service models, the NICE guide for commissioners identifies the potential benefits of effectively commissioning services for people with common mental health disorders using the stepped care model.

This approach allows the least intensive intervention that is appropriate for a person to be provided first, and people can step up or down the pathway according to changing needs and in response to treatment.

The guide is available in two parts:

  1. ‘An interactive guide for commissioners’ (I’m not sure what this is as yet, because the link to it is broken on the NICE website)
  2. A commissioning and benchmarking tool’ (an Excel spreadsheet)

The common mental health disorders covered by the guide include:

  • depression
  • generalised anxiety disorder
  • mixed depression and anxiety
  • panic disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • phobias
  • social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
  • post-traumatic stress disorder

Conditions excluded from the guide are:

  • bipolar disorder
  • personality disorder
  • eating disorders
  • medically unexplained symptoms

The guide updates and replaces the previous NICE commissioning guide on cognitive behavioural therapy services.

CMG41: Commissioning stepped care for people with common mental health disorders. NICE, Oct 2011.

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