Mental health has taken strides forward in the last decade. But there is much to still do before it has true parity with other conditions.

WA Health has campaigned on mental health issues for many years, for clients and personally in our spare time.

Problem

An NHS commitment to phase out rolling block contracts for mental health providers had stalled. IMHSA believed continued use of these contracts was delaying patient discharges and harming access to mental health services for those in need.

Solution

WA Health identified how to evidence these concerns with data. By analysing information from a range of published sources we compared NHS provider performance depending on the type of contract they had.

The data produced powerful insights about the impact rolling block contracts can have on patient access, experience and outcomes, and healthcare spending.

These enabled IMHSA to create compelling messages, proposals and reports which allowed the group to speak authoritatively with politicians, the media, mental health charities and NHS leaders about the case for reform.

Many went on to call for change.

Results

An Independent Mental Health Taskforce, previously set up by NHS England, reported that block contracts are inappropriate for mental health care. NHS England is now backing removal of block contracts as it introduces new payment models for mental health providers.