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Funding overhaul for mental health beds revealed

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National NHS officials have proposed a major shift in the funding model for inpatient mental health beds for children and young people, information seen by HSJ reveals.

A report on child and adolescent mental health services by Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT), an NHS England national programme, recommends a move away from the current ‘payment per bed day’ model to a system which funds particular outcomes or “therapeutic models”.

It appears the proposal in the GIRFT recommendations seen by HSJ would apply to both NHS and independent provision, although some NHS providers are already less likely to receive funding on a ”per bed day” basis.

Ananta Dave, consultant CAMHS psychiatrist at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust, told HSJ that having agreed therapy and outcome measures as recommended by the report would not only boost patient experience but also lead to better results.

“One inpatient bed can actually be the equivalent of 100 young people being looked after in the community. So these are precious resources we are talking about, hence the quality of inpatient units is really important.

“It should not just be a tick-box exercise that a bed exists. Instead, it is about the quality of that service. If you simply go by the number of bed days, you’re unlikely to meet your target or meet your ambition of reducing the spend on inpatient services.”

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Source: HSJ, 16 May 2022

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