• Six areas chosen to take on new commissioning powers for tertiary mental health services
  • Providers were invited to submit bids to NHS England by the middle of June
  • A key aim of the pilot is to reduce the number of patients going to out of area beds

Six regions have been chosen by NHS England to take on new commissioning powers for tertiary mental health services.

The areas will act as pilots to develop new care models for low- and medium-secure adult mental health care and tier four children and adolescent mental health services, as well as other specialised mental health services.

Mental health providers were invited to submit bids to NHS England to tackle a disconnect between locally commissioned services and national commissioned secure and specialist mental health services, which has contributed to a rise patients being sent out of their local area for a bed, sometimes hundreds of miles away.

NHS England on Tuesday confirmed the providers chosen to take control of specialised services for mental health and will be expected to reduce admissions and lengths of stay while bringing patients located out of area closer to home.

The sites will receive £1.8m between them in additional investment from NHS England to implement their new approaches.

Sites piloting new mental health care models


  • West London: West London Trust (with Central and North West London FT, Priory and Like Minded)
  • North east and north Yorkshire: Tees, Esk and Wear Valley FT


  • West Midlands: Birmingham and Solihull FT (with South Staffs and Shropshire FT and St Andrew’s)
  • Oxford and Thames Valley: Oxford Health FT (with Berkshire FT, Dorset FT, CNWL, Solent Trust, Southern Health Trust)
  • South London Partnership: South London and Maudsley FT, Oxleas FT, South West London and St George’s Trust
  • South West: Devon Partnership Trust (with Avon and Wiltshire FT, Cornwall FT, Dorset FT, 2gether FT, Cygnet, Partnerships in Care, Livewell)


West London Mental Health Trust CAMHS and developmental services clinical director Dr Vijay Parkash said: “We are delighted to have been selected as a pilot site for testing new models of care for CAMHS services.

”This is great news for young people and their families as we believe our new model of care will integrate the currently separate parts of the mental health pathway for children and young people in crisis, improving safety and quality of care and patient experience, whist delivering efficiencies which can be reinvested in local services.”

Clinical director for secure services at Devon Partnership Trust, Dr Jason Fee, said at present about 480 people across the regio require secure treatment, but more than half of them are treated outside the south west.

He added: “Our consortium’s overriding priority is to improve both the quality and consistency of secure service provision, ensuring that the needs of people in secure care are met as close to home as possible.

”We are confident that we can improve upon the current model of commissioning and provision in secure care across the south west. We want to reduce people’s lengths of stay in hospital wherever it is safe and appropriate to do so. This will improve people’s experience and outcomes - and will enable us to invest in further service improvement.”

The announcement comes as part of the publication of Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, which sets out how the NHS will meet the recommendations of the Mental Health Taskforce.

The report says how and when the new funding of up to £1bn a year by 2020-21 pledged in the mental health forward view will be made available to clinical commissioning groups year on year, on top of the cumulative £1.4bn NHS England has already committed for children, young people and perinatal care.

It also describes how the workforce requirements will be delivered in each priority area and outlines how data, payment and other system levers will be used to support transparency.

HSJ understands former Oxleas Foundation Trust chief executive Stephen Firn contacted providers for NHS England at the end of May and bids were submitted by the middle of June.

The invitation allowed trusts or groups of trusts to bid for control of the budgets for tertiary forensic mental health and CAMHS inpatient services, which are currently commissioned by NHS England. Trialling secondary mental health providers managing care budgets for tertiary services was an idea suggested in the planning guidance in December.

The plan was endorsed by the Mental Health Taskforce in February as a way of reducing ”fragmented commissioning” and improving “full community and inpatient care pathways”.

Nearly £4bn pledged to mental health services