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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Emma Dickerson, Lee-Ann Fenge and Emily Rosenorn-Lanng

This paper aims to explore the learning needs of general practitioners (GPs) involved in commissioning mental health provision in England, and offer an evaluation of a leadership…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the learning needs of general practitioners (GPs) involved in commissioning mental health provision in England, and offer an evaluation of a leadership and commissioning skills development programme for Mental Health Commissioners.

Design/methodology/approach

Retrospective mixed method, including online mixed method survey, rating participants’ knowledge, skills, abilities, semi-structured telephone interviews and third-party questionnaires were used. Results were analysed for significant differences using the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks test. Open-ended responses and interview transcripts were analysed thematically.

Findings

Indicative results showed that participants perceived significant impacts in ability across eight key question groups evaluated. Differences were found between the perceived and observed impact in relation to technical areas covered within the programme which were perceived as the highest scoring impacts by participants.

Research limitations/implications

The indicative results show a positive impact on practice has been both perceived and observed. Findings illustrate the value of this development programme on both the personal development of GP Mental Health Commissioners and commissioning practice. Although the findings of this evaluation increase understanding in relation to an important and topical area, larger scale, prospective evaluations are required. Impact evaluations could be embedded within future programmes to encourage higher participant and third-party engagement. Future evaluations would benefit from collection and analysis of attendance data. Further research could involve patient, service user and carer perspectives on mental health commissioning.

Originality value

Results of this evaluation could inform the development of future learning programmes for mental health commissioners as part of a national approach to improve mental health provision.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

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