This delivery plan is not prescriptive about the particular structure of services that needs to be in place to deliver good outcomes. Rigid structures can often lead to a reduction in innovation and are not appropriate for the changing populations they serve. Instead we propose a functional approach that focuses on the key elements of services that need to be in place at each point in a journey of care so that clinicians, service users and carers can be clear about what needs to be delivered.
In any service we would expect to see a description of the purpose of the service, the target population, as well as arrangements for standardised joint assessment, referral, admission and discharge, and a range of interventions and therapies which meet the range of needs within the community.
There is good research evidence for what works in mental health services and what leads to better outcomes for people who use them. We have built our guidance around this evidence and have specified the functions that we expect within our services. We recognise that how services are delivered in large cities may be very different from how remote and rural areas may choose to configure their services, but there should be good governance arrangements in place to ensure good standards of care and treatment are available regardless of the location.
Local populations must develop local solutions that best fit their needs. In doing this they will receive support from the Health Department through the establishment of the national improvement programme as well as the work that we are doing in benchmarking and information gathering and through better performance management systems. Information is vital and we need to be able to show what difference is being made and to be able to measure 'like with like' in order that we can learn from and share success across the country.
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