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The Underpinning philosophy of a good community mental health service.

Getting good value from values-based commissioning

It has long been recognised that effective interventions must respond to the problems as experienced by service users. The impact of inadequate intervention which ignores the most pertinent service user issues leads only to reduced well-being, greater call on NHS resources at GP surgery and A and E as well as an increased level of delayed discharges of care from mental health units. All of this comes at a much more substantial cost to Commissioners and Health Providers; failure to invest preventively increases costs further down the system.

Avondalecare recognises that finances are currently compromised and makes every effort to provide commissioners with good value for money.

We consider that our values are what service users want and that values-based commissioning and value-based commissioning can go hand-in-hand.

Value-based commissioning means maximising outcomes relative to financial cost and relatives to harm - this is essentially value for money.

According to the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health, values-based commissioning 'is a process that refers to what service users and patients feel is important for their needs. Since it sees service users, families, clinicians and managers as being equally important, commissioning strategy and direction and consequently rests equally on what everyone thinks is important.'

The Panel state that this:

'is sustainable for two reasons: firstly, often what service users, patients and families think is important (courtesy, company, compassion, Information, empowerment, employment) is less resource intensive than what service providers think is important (equipment, buildings, technology, medication). Secondly, when service users and families operate in a values-based commissioning environment it transforms them from passive recipients of services into active decision makers.'

Firmly grounded in this philosophical approach Avondalecare seeks to give service users choice and control and collaboratively plan rehabilitation and recovery.

Les Jeffs - MSc Social Work & Director @Avondalecare
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