Report from the Mental Health Metrics match, September 2019 Washington, DC. By Richard Woodcock, National Manager Data, Information and Research, Te Pou

The IIMHL initiated a project in 2008 with an aim of developing a consensus framework for mental health quality and performance indicators. This early work was led by Professor Harold Pincus and his team at Columbia University. The work has continued through to 2019 and over 20 publications have explored the performance schemes used and the opportunities for standardising approaches to performance and quality measurement across a range of countries.

Examples of earlier publications:

In 2016 the NHS Benchmarking Network extended this work and has worked in partnership with 16 countries (including Aotearoa) to explore comparative metrics for both Adult Mental Health Services and Child and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS).

Two earlier publications were:

Richard states that in 2019 the work was shaped directly by its participants and is conducted through a framework provided by the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL), with project management and data analysis support delivered by the UK NHS Benchmarking Network.

The 2019 project builds on previous cycles of project work and explores metrics around mental health expenditure, service access and coverage, provision models, the mental health workforce, and service quality and outcomes. This report provides a composite position that explores service characteristics for all ages, from child and adolescent, through working age adults, and older people.

Leaders from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) attended the 2019 match and contributed to raising the profile of the international benchmarking project.

The development of robust definitions is central to the project’s work. Detailed work was undertaken to agree a set of definitions that are meaningful across countries and use terminology that is consistent with country specific data dictionaries. A data specification was developed which was issued to all participants to support the data collection process.

The project has also been keen to ensure that data comparisons are presented in the context of the diversity evident in different country service models. The wider health and care system models used in each country have been referred to in interpreting the data provided. The project’s latest data collection was launched in April 2019.

First draft reports were made available to participants in August 2019. Following validation with participants and wider discussion at the IIMHL conference in Washington DC on 9th and 10th September 2019, this full and  final report has now been published which will be of interest to many services.

Read more about the International Mental Health Comparisons 2019 Child and Adolescent, Adult, Older Adult Services

A summary of the match was also published on the IIMHL website.