The white paper has little to say about mental health, but one organisation is trying to fill the vacuum via its web site.

Anyone hoping for an organisational blueprint for mental health services to emerge from The New NHS white paper will have been disappointed.

In fact, there are just two mentions of mental health in the entire document.

The first vague reference is to pooled budgets, which the document suggests will be of benefit to people with disability and mental health problems.

The second, apparently more specifically, says primary care trusts 'will not be expected to take responsibility for specialised mental health' services and suggests specialist mental health trusts 'are likely to be the best mechanism'.

'We were surprised by how little it had to say - and disappointed by what little it did say,' says Edward Peck, director of the centre for mental health services development, part of King's College, London.

But he has been encouraged by junior health minister Paul Boateng's subsequent call for further debate, and believes there is enormous interest among academics and practitioners about possible new structures.

And whereas in the past it has proved difficult to get discussion underway quickly and to involve a wide range of people in developing ideas, the centre has now hit on a way of doing it rapidly and cheaply.

Shortly before Christmas, the CMHSD launched a web site. Like most, it has information about the centre's work and staff. But Dr Peck is keen to use it for a purpose rather than simply to see it stagnate in an unchanging format.

'It is getting more difficult to get articles published because of the volume of articles submitted to journals; it's more difficult to get them published quickly; and once you have published, it is difficult to change your mind,' he says.

'When you have put down a view on paper, people expect you to hold to it for all time, or at least for a year or so. But, of course, as events move on and you find out more, you often do change your opinion.'

Dr Peck's solution has been to publish a draft document about organisational changes for mental health services on the CMHSD web site, to invite comments, and to promise that the paper will be revised in the light of debate. The plan is to have a final version ready in time for a conference on 2 April.

And although the discussion paper has been available for less than a fortnight, Dr Peck says he has already started to rethink his analysis.

'My initial reading of the white paper was that it ruled out the possibility of primary care trusts running mental health services, but it has been suggested to me that the phrasing is open to a wider interpretation,' he says.

'When it says, 'not expected to', it could mean there will be no compulsion, so there is a door left open, which would be very welcome.'

Other sections of his draft document have been left completely open. 'I have really said, 'I don't know, tell me what you think',' he says.

If this method of consultation proves a success, Dr Peck hopes to make it a regular feature of the centre's policy work, placing a new discussion document on the site every two months.

'We don't know of anyone else doing this. It was just a proposal we came up with when we were thinking about how we could use our web site effectively,' he says. 'It seemed like a good idea.'

A first draft of Organisational Arrangements for Mental Health Services in The New NHS can be found at the CMHSD web site at http://www.glam.ac.uk/cmhsd/. Comments are invited until 28 February.