Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health launched

A new Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCP-MH) in the UK has been launched.

Aiming to address serious concerns regarding the future commissioning of mental health services and public mental health interventions, 13 organisations have come together to get the body up and running.

Rethink Mental Illness, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal College of General Practitioners, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the NHS Confederation and Mind are all involved in the panel.

The group will attempt to address the problem of a perceived lack of practical guidance often reported in regards to commissioning for mental health and wellbeing.

Professor Peter Kinderman, Chair of the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology and a Chartered Psychologist, said: "Many professional bodies, charities and service user groups have expressed concerns about the future of mental health care."

"As the new vision of 'any willing provider' and 'GP-led commissioning' is developed, many of us are worried that very complex, very specialist, services could suffer."

"It is vitally important that any commissioning arrangements learn from the experts."

"So the development of the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health is an excellent and very welcome endeavour. The British Psychological Society (BPS) will, of course, work enthusiastically with our colleagues to ensure effective commissioning for mental health, learning disabilities and wellbeing."

Dr John Hanna, Chartered Psychologist, added: "The expansion of the JCP-MH to include, among other new members, the BPS is welcome news."

"Alongside other representatives of professional and service user and carer organisations, we will endeavour to realise the ambition of clinician- and service-user/carer-led commissioning in mental health."

"For applied psychologists and service users alike, it will be vital to establish commissioning standards to ensure that service users receive a full range of choice of evidence-based medicines and treatments as is their right under the NHS Constitution."

"We will expect increasing parity in service delivery to match the relative parity of evidence, resulting in improved access to psychological therapies in all areas of mental health."