Evaluating the effect of Community Mental Health services on the lives of people with mental health problems in England over a time of economic insecurity
This study will capitalise on recent opportunities for accessing administrative and survey data in England and bring together, and link, various sources of secondary quantitative information gathered between 2006 and 2016 to create a first ever large retrospective cohort of Community Mental Health (CMH) service users in England.
The research is expected to highlight which aspects of Community Mental Health service are essential in helping people with mental health problems participate in all facets of civic and economic life and prevent adverse outcomes.
NHS Digital, Department of Work and Pensions, NHS England, Department of Health, Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), Office for National Statistics, Care Quality Commission (Picker Institute as data holder)
More information about the project
Recent cross-sectional studies have shown that the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent introduction of ‘austerity measures’ increased demand for UK mental health services, and tended to limit the supply of Community Mental Health (CMH) services. Budget cuts were not spread evenly over England, and were associated with significant regional differences in access to community services and unmet mental health needs. To date, there have been no population-based studies that have examined the effect of changes and continuities of CMH services on the life experience of CMH service users in England. The results of this study will evidence the value of community mental health care.
This study will capitalise on recent opportunities for accessing administrative and survey data in England and bring together, and link, various sources of secondary quantitative information to create a first ever large retrospective cohort of Community Mental Health (CMH) service users in England. Individuals receiving Community mental health services in 2006 will be identified from primary and secondary health care service databases (see Databases section) to create the cohort. Retrospectively information will be gathered over time on these individuals from 2006 to 2016 to determine the community mental health services they received, social care services they received, and mental health resources available in their environment.
The first phase of this study will describe the cohort, and explore temporal and regional variations in services provided to service users in England from 2006 to 2016. If successful, phase 2 of the project will be implemented to explore which aspects of CMH services have constrained or enabled service users to participate in all facets of community life over this period of economic instability and identify how the relationship between CMH services and well-being is constrained or modified by the individual’s social context (neighbourhood characteristics, availability of social and mental health care resources).
The research will be steered by a multidisciplinary research team and guided by an advisory group representing the stakeholders (including community mental health service users) of this study. Dissemination activities, in large part facilitated and led by the Mental Health Foundation, will promote dialogue among the stakeholder groups and ease the way for improving the mental health research using administrative data sources in England.
Service user participation and opt-out instructions
The research team is aware that they are dealing with sensitive information for which consent is not explicitly asked. All data is anonymised and many safety measures are taken to protect your identity. In November 2017 a focus group led by the Mental Health Foundation discussed the project and service users believed it was fair and lawful for the administrative and survey data to be used for the purpose to gain knowledge on community mental health service use and needed improvements. Some service users expressed the wish to actively be involved in the advisory group to the research project. Please do feel free to contact Dr Corine Driessens at the e-mail address below and indicate that you wish to join the advisory group.
The research team would also like to offer any community mental health service users who received services in England in 2006 and therefore believed they might be part of the cohort but prefer their data not to be used for this purposes to opt out of the study. Please e-mail your name and NHS number to Dr Corine Driessens at the e-mail below and we will make sure the NHS will take your information out of our anonymised dataset.
Date approved: April 2016
Dr Corine Driessens, ADRC-E and University of Southampton
Prof Peter W.F. Smith, ADRC-E and University of Southampton
Dr David Crepaz-Keay, Mental Health Foundation
Prof David Pilgrim, University of Southampton
Prof David Kingdon, University of Southampton
Prof Tony Kendrick, University of Southampton