Historically, our mental health services in Northamptonshire have been planned and delivered in a way that focuses very strongly on fulfilling certain levels of activity.

What this approach doesn’t encourage is a detailed understanding of how well this activity actually meets the needs of our service users and what difference this makes to their health and wellbeing.

As a Partnership, our health and care organisations are working together to change that. We are taking a fresh look at the way we plan and commission mental health services across the county that rewards the delivery of better outcomes that are important to the people who use them. We are calling this our Outcomes Based Contracting Framework.

Importantly the framework has been developed through co-production with our service users. This means we know the outcomes it defines are the ones that matter most to people, helping them to remain independent and maintain ordinary life experiences as well as preventing further ill health, staying well and supporting recovery.

The Outcomes Based Contracting Framework is set to come into effect in Northamptonshire in spring 2019, and the terms of the contract will be specific enough to hold providers to account on outcomes and encourage joined-up working between services.

It will also allow enough flexibility for contract-holders to develop solutions to any problems or issues that may arise.