Mental Health Guide for NHS Finance Managers Published

The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) has produced a guidance to help finance staff working in the NHS to better understand mental health treatment.

The new mental health guide includes eight case studies, showcasing examples of how mental health services are provided in England. These include a memory clinic in Fareham and Gosport and typical care pathways for schizophrenia and dementia at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust.

Tony Whitfield, president of the HFMA said, “Our recent research has revealed that NHS accountants have a key role in contributing to the delivery of high-quality, value for money services. They can only do this properly if they understand the services which they support. Frontline doctors and nurses have also identified significant benefits to be gained from finance staff developing greater clinical awareness. So this is why we have created our series of guides – Medicine for Managers.

“We have chosen to focus on mental health services as mental health problems are among the most common health conditions, directly affecting about a quarter of the population in any one year. People suffering from serious mental illnesses tend to have a life expectancy which is 10 to 15 years lower than the UK average. An NHS England priority between now and 2015 is closing the health gap between people with mental health problems and the population as a whole.”

The guidance is the latest in the series of guides for finance staff to help them understand more about the NHS services they support. The first Medicine For Managers briefing on paediatrics was published at the end of last year and briefings on further key specialties will follow.