Personalisation of Care in Mental Health Services – how ready are we?

Published: 7 November 2013

Throughout my years of working with the health sector I have become fascinated by the work of the mental health sector. I have had some of the most engaging and inspiring conversations of my career with both candidates and clients alike.

I have followed with interest how the sector approaches, challenges and delivers against national policies and initiatives such as Payment by Results and World Class Commissioning. I am currently curious and intrigued by how the sector is adapting to the concept of Personalisation of Care following Tim Kelsey’s article on the NHS England website.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/09/25/tim-kelsey-2/

By the nature of each individual service user’s diagnosis , are services not already ‘personalised’ as no set of circumstances can be guaranteed to be the same? However in the policy sense of the word how ready are we, the public, to choose and determine our ideal treatment through what is possibly one of the most delicate situations we may face?

In my opinion, I have questions that remain unanswered: for an organisation, what impact does this have on its ability to manage budgets and achieve efficiencies through economies of scale and service reconfiguration in what is without doubt a challenging financial climate, and how does a Divisional Manager reliably plan its workforce and capacity for example?

How do you ensure and report good clinical governance and performance outcomes on something that is hand-chosen by an individual should the outcome not be what was hoped for, and could this lead to a culture of litigation in the future as families feel let down by the system that is meant to know the answer and be the expert?

I think it will be fascinating to watch how this plays out with the Healthcare regulators regarding the ways in which they keep track of all possible service delivery routes.

Hannah Wade is a Consultant within the Healthcare Practice at Berwick Partners

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