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Developing Payment by Results for mental health  

  • Last modified date:
    1 April 2010

Work continues on developing currencies for use in the commissioning of mental health services for adults of working age and older people.  The ultimate goal is the  creation of a national tariff for these currencies.

The project is now in the second stage (see reports from Stage 1 of the project below). Following the consultation Options for the Future of PbR 2008-2009 to 2010-2011, which highlighted mental health as a priority area for PbR development,  the Care Pathways and Package Project approach of grouping service users into categories based on need has been accepted as the model we are pursuing nationally.

A number of sites are further developing the Care Pathways and Packages work.  More details can be found in factsheet 4.

If you require further information on developments, please contact Peter Howitt on 0207 633 7346.

What's new

Latest mental health PbR development policy news

1 April 2010: Update on the latest developments on PbR for Mental Health, and clarification of implementation timescales

Mental health PbR currency development - final publications package

The following information is now available as part of the final mental health PbR publications package. The mental health PbR currency development is an on-going piece of work with further refinement and wider validation of the clustering tool and cluster care transition protocols envisaged.

  1. Mental Health Clustering Booklet for 2010-11
  2. Mental Health Care Transition Protocols (This is a draft document subject to further work in 2010. It should be considered when re-clustering a user)
  3. Payment by Results Guidance for 2010-11 (Section 9)
  4. Practical Guide to preparing for Mental Health PbR
  5. Mental Health summary slides

17 December 2009: Draft guidance is available for mental health currencies

Draft guidance on mental health currencies is available for comment as part of the 2010-11 PbR road test package.  To read the guidance follow the link below and download Payment by Results: Draft Guidance 2010-11. Section 9 relates to mental health.  You can feedback using the proforma available at the same link.

28 September 2009: International report on Mental Health Payment by Results

The international report by the University of York Centre for Health Economics provides an insight into how mental health services are reimbursed around the globe (Gateway reference 12677).


Project Initiation Document


This document aims to define the Mental Health PbR Development Project, to form the basis for its ongoing management and the assessment of its overall success. It provides a statement of how and when the project's objectives are to be achieved.

Currency methodology

In this section are several useful documents developed by the Care Pathways and Packages Project or related individuals, that attempt to explain the methodology behind the approach of clustering service users based on their needs. They are made available for wider use as long as fidelity to the model is maintained.

 A report on the development of a mental health currency

This paper provides an introduction to the Care Pathways and Packages methodology

Practical guide to preparing for mental health payment by results

A practical guide containing 10 actions to help local health economies prepare for mental health PbR.

Clustering booklet

This clustering booklet contains the assessment tool (HoNOS PbR) and the 21 clusters developed by the Care Pathways and Packages Project.  The clustering booklet is time-limited as work continues across the NHS to refine and validate both the assessment and the clusters.  We aim to publish a revised version in December 2009 for use in 2010/11.

Mental health PbR - reports from Stage 1 of the project

End stage report: mental health casemix classification

This report, published by the Information Centre for Health and Social Care, summarises the outputs from Stage 1 of the Casemix Mental Health Classification Development Project. It describes the three approaches used to investigate and develop mental health classifications and groupings: models derived clinically, statistically and from the care pathway. The report explains the methods used for data collection, checking and analysis and the results from each of the three approaches. It compares the outcomes and assesses the benefits and issues associated with each model.

Mental Health PbR conferences

Care pathways and packages project: report on Stage 1

The mental health payment by results, care pathways and packages project was undertaken by provider mental health trusts in the Northern and Yorkshire area, intending to inform the options for  establishing a payment by results system for mental health services.

The project was supported by CSIP/NIMHE NEYH and involved pilot sites in each trust: Northumberland, Tyne and Wear MH Trust, Tees, Eskand Wear Valleys MH Trust, Doncaster and South Humber Healthcare Trust, Humber Mental Health Teaching Trust, South West Yorkshire MH Trust, and Leeds Mental Health Teaching Trust

The report provides the details about the project approach and objectives, the key findings, conclusions and recommendations. It is also supported by a range of appendices which provide more detailed information regarding the main project work streams.

Additional links

Related Links

Contact us

Contact details for the Department, Connecting for Health and the Information Centre for health and social care; details of advisory groups.

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