We supported commissioners and providers across Devon with a strategic framework for mental health. This set out the baseline position and quantified priorities to guide action planning and delivery over the next 3-5 years.

  • Established a shared understanding of population needs
  • Defined the clinical and financial challenges facing mental health both now and over the next five years
  • Identified necessary changes to the financial settlement to support sustainability
  • Shortlisted three opportunities

Improving mental health services

There was a long-standing desire among commissioners and providers across Devon to improve care for people experiencing mental ill-health. The Devon sustainability and transformation plan (STP) included the aim of developing a mental health strategy, to improve care on a pan-Devon basis. Specifics included maximising the effectiveness of mental health spending, improving prevention and improving the provision of mental health services.

Understanding needs and outcomes

We produced a strategic framework that contained an analysis of the baseline position and a list of priorities to guide the development of more detailed and granular action planning and delivery. The framework was based on a detailed understanding of the needs, outcomes and complexity of the different groups within the Devon population. It also identified the key issues and challenges for mental health faced by the Devon footprint and forecasted the future demand for services.

Throughout the development of the Strategic Framework, significant engagement was undertaken with stakeholders across the system, including service users and carers, to ensure the emerging conclusions of the work were understood, embedded and owned. We also completed an evidence review to identify best practice models of mental health care and assess the impact these could have in Devon.

Key opportunities

From the list of priorities three opportunities were shortlisted for accelerated focus:

  • Developing a community-based model of care for people currently detained under the Mental Health Act
  • Developing a holistic care model for people with dementia
  • Developing a holistic care mode for people with depression

Opportunities for efficiencies and savings were also established, however, it was clear that a different financial settlement was required to ensure the sustainability of care model changes.

Ongoing impact

The strategic framework we produced is feeding into ongoing work across the wider system to create new models of accountable care, ensuring mental health is at the heart. As a result of our work, a specific financial settlement for mental health was agreed.