The Association of Mental Health Providers (AMHP) has created the first ever complete picture of mental health service provision across England via a freely available interactive map.
By combining data from the AMHP’s members and other mental health service providers, alongside demographic data, the map helps users understand where gaps in provision are located and can help build cases for future government funding. AMHP is the national representative organisation for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) providers of mental health and wellbeing services in England and Wales.
Designed to be used by Integrated Care Systems (ICS), Local Councils, Government and other decision and policy makers in the mental health and social care sector, as well as VCSE mental health providers, all stakeholders now have access to compelling data to help with planning, strategies and funding from national to local level.
The new tool is expected to be particularly valuable to the 42 ICS, who require an accurate, integrated picture of their populations and healthcare services. Using the map, they can now reveal areas where there is insufficient mental health service provision using robust data and make informed commissioning decisions.
Developed by AMHP, working in partnership with Esri UK, the tool integrates data from NHS, Care Quality Commission (CQC), voluntary, community and social enterprise providers, plus other population and demographic data from the ArcGIS Living Atlas which includes Census data and some curated data sourced from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Currently it is mapping 843 CQC registered services and 884 AMHP member branches. Initial findings suggest there is a level of unmet need for 2 million people.
Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive of the AMHP said:
“With this tool revealing there are 884 VCSE organisations supporting the 843 CQC registered providers, it will be a vital element in planning and funding regional health service provision. Crucially, the tool will unlock patterns and identify gaps in mental health service provision to inform decision making within ICS.
“Feedback from our 300 plus members, delivering over 3,000 services locally, regionally, and nationally, has highlighted concerns that their social care and support services, keeping people safe and well in the community, have been underestimated and have not been recognised in funding analysis.
“As a result, the charitable mental health sector is often overlooked when it comes to allocating funding. However, we know 1 in 8 people in the community receive support from a VCSE mental health service provider and now, through this tool, we can evidence what services, offered by which provider, are being delivered where.
“Esri UK’s reputation as a leading provider of mapping and analytical tools made it the ideal partner to work with. Through this powerful new tool, we look forward to reducing health inequalities by improving access to mental health services within local communities. As a result, we believe it will reduce the pressure on acute, crisis and urgent services within the NHS.
“This mapping tool is an ongoing project and we encourage community engagement from the VCSE sector for data improvements and validation.”
Duncan Booth, Head of Health & Social Care at Esri UK said:
“By integrating different data sources and giving the data a location, a much needed ‘single view of the truth’ has been created, providing mental health service decision-makers with valuable new insights.
“Combining AMHP’s access to service provider data with Esri UK’s geospatial expertise, means previously unconnected data can now be visualised using an easy-to-use map interface, allowing users to make informed decisions and allocate resources more effectively.
“Creating this single view has previously presented a significant data access and technical challenge. Esri UK has geocoded, cleaned and prepared the data so it can work seamlessly within a common platform.
“We are delighted to be working with the Association and contributing to improving access to mental health services, ensuring quality of care is delivered to the people who need it the most. Mental health provision is a key consideration for all ICS and the development of this integrated national dataset will no doubt be incredibly useful for them and deliver positive outcomes.”
The mapping tool can be found here.
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