Economic Evaluation of Primary Care Mental Health Models

Healthy London Partnership commissioned Catalyze and partners Res Consortium to lead an economic evaluation of primary care mental health models in five different London Boroughs.

The evaluation team was tasked to answer two questions:

  • How do the Primary Care Mental Health models contribute value to the health system?
  • How do the Primary Care Mental Health models contribute to financial efficiencies?

We have developed a robust method, grounded in decision science and appreciative inquiry, that provides genuine insight into value and value-for-money in an area where there is much need and yet where there is a real lack of quality data.

The Catalyze-Res Evaluation team used multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) to co-produce a characterisation of “value to the system” which comprised 29 components of value. The components were grouped into six main areas: outcomes, quality of service, patient experience, carer experience, mutual professional confidence and sustainability.

The evaluation has discovered a number of important factors that can govern better primary care mental health services, including types of care model; patient focus, making services more accountable, and adapting better to service user need. Alongside these is the importance of basic calculations of cost per patient versus the overall system value provided.

The study also revealed a number of important principles around better commissioning, including ensuring initial business case specifications are adhered to, that good quality data is provided, and that active performance management matters.

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