Quality improvement in mental health

Quality improvement in mental health | The King’s Fund

This report explores the potential opportunities arising from the application of quality improvement approaches in the mental health sector and identifies relevant learning from organisations that have already adopted these approaches.

The authors were specifically interested in understanding how and why some mental health organisations have embraced quality improvement strategies and what has enabled them to do so. It explores what changes are needed from senior leaders to cultivate a quality improvement ethos within their organisation.    

Key findings

  • Embracing quality improvement requires a change in the traditional approach to leadership at all levels of an organisation, so that those closest to problems (staff and patients) can devise the best solutions and implement them.
  • Doing quality improvement at scale requires an appropriate organisational infrastructure, both to support frontline teams and to ensure that learning spreads and is taken up across the organisation.
  • Tools and approaches used in the acute hospital sector can be adapted for use in mental health care, including in community settings.
  • Success is most likely when there is fidelity to the chosen improvement method, and a sustained commitment over time.
  • The strong emphasis on co-production and service user involvement in mental health can be harnessed as a powerful asset in quality improvement work.

Download the full report: Quality improvement in mental health

Big cuts planned to public health budgets

Plans to cut public health budgets by £85m this year ‘self-defeating’ | story via Kings Fund

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Public health services such as sexual health clinics and services reducing harm from smoking, alcohol and drugs are to be cut by £85m this year by local authorities, despite having their budgets severely reduced in recent times, new research has found.

In findings released by the King’s Fund which analysed Department of Communities and Local Government data, it was revealed that councils in England were planning to spend £3.4bn on public health services in 2017-18.

However, on a like-for-like basis excluding the impact of changes to how budgets are calculated over different years, councils will only spend £2.52bn on public health in 2017-18 compared to £2.60bn last year.

Once inflation is factored in, the King’s Fund experts also discovered that public health spending is more than 5% less in 2017-18 than it was four years ago, in 2013-14.

Full story at The Kings Fund

Related: Kings Fund blog: Chickens coming home to roost: local government public health budgets for 2017/18

 

Social prescribing: from rhetoric to reality

This one-day event explored the range of benefits of social prescribing, and how best to measure and evaluate the impact and outcomes.  | The King’s Fund

Pioneering local areas shared their approach, challenges and achievements, and provided practical resources for commissioners and practitioners to develop schemes in their own locality

Presentations: 

View the full event proceedings here

Mental health and new care models

GPs need to prioritise mental health more, say experts. | Mental health and new models of care | Kings Fund | OnMedica

While some of the vanguard sites developing new care models report promising early results from adopting a whole-person approach, the full opportunities to improve care through integrated approaches to mental health have not yet been realised.
This Kings Fund report draws on recent research with vanguard sites in England, conducted in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The report found that where new models of care have been used to remove the barriers between mental health and other parts of the health system, local professionals saw this as being highly valuable in improving care for patients and service users. But there remains much to be done to fully embed mental health into integrated care teams, primary care, urgent and emergency care pathways, and in work on population health.

The main vehicle for rolling out what vanguards are trying to achieve are England’s sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and there are concerns, said the authors, that some STPs had limited content on mental health.

‘It is vital that STP leaders are encouraged to make mental health a central part of their plans, and that they are able to take heed of the emerging lessons from vanguard sites,’ says the report.

More mental health support is needed in GP surgeries, said the authors. They recommend strengthening mental health capabilities in the primary and community health workforce by improving the confidence, competence and skills of GPs, integrated care teams and others.

Leading Across The Health And Care System: Lessons From Experience

This paper offers those who are leading new systems of care some guidance on how to address the challenges they face| The King’s Fund

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Image source: The King’s Fund

As the NHS seeks to move away from competition towards integration and to develop new models of care, individuals and organisations across the health and care system need to learn to work together to make the best use of collective skills and knowledge.

Part of our Leadership in action series, this paper offers those who are leading new systems of care some guidance on how to address the challenges they face. It draws on the Fund’s work on the development of new care models, sustainability and transformation plans, and accountable care organisations. It is also informed by the experience of people who have occupied system leadership roles and draws on case studies from our research and organisational development work.

Read the full report here

Compassionate leadership in health care

Caring to change:  How compassionate leadership can stimulate innovation in health care | Kings Fund

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This paper looks at compassion as a core cultural value of the NHS and how compassionate leadership results in a working environment that encourages people to find new and improved ways of doing things.  It describes four key elements of a culture for innovative, high-quality and continually improving care and what they mean for patients, staff and the wider organisation: inspiring vision and strategy; positive inclusion and participation; enthusiastic team and cross-boundary working; and support and autonomy for staff to innovate. It also presents case studies of how compassionate leadership has led to innovation. This work was supported by the Health Foundation.

Download the full report here

Related Kings Fund blog: Compassionate leadership – more important than ever in today’s NHS

Caring for acutely ill patients

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The King’s Fund has published Organising care at the NHS front line: who is responsible? 

The report looks at the reality of caring for acutely ill medical patients at the NHS front line and asks how care in hospitals can be improved. It comprises a series of essays by frontline clinicians, managers, quality improvement champions and patients, and provides detail about how clinical care is currently provided and how it could be improved.

The report highlights that providing safe and high-quality care for acutely ill medical patients has always been challenging but has become more so as the volume and complexity of work has increased. Amongst its recommendations is that there should be a much stronger focus on how care is organised on hospital wards and in clinics throughout the NHS and greater standardisation of care processes.

The full report can be downloaded here