About IMHSA The Independent Mental Health Services Alliance (IMHSA) is a group of nine leading independent providers of mental health services, including Ansel Group, Care UK, Castlebeck, Craegmoor, Cygnet, Partnerships in Care, Pastoral Care, St Andrews Healthcare and The Retreat at York. Collectively, we run more than 500 settings across the country delivering a wide range of high-quality services to adults with mental health problems. Our aim is to improve outcomes for people with mental health needs. We plan to meet this aim by constructively informing central and local government policy that relates to our work, through positive dialogue with policymakers. We also work collectively as a sector in understanding developments in government policy and in discovering how our services might adapt to meet the requirements of policy changes. Summary of response:
The current process is very bureaucratic, inefficient and unnecessarily complex.
Information should only be collected if it is required and should be centrally available to all who need to use it, to avoid duplication.
Required information should be collected, submitted and presented in a simplified format that both eases the administrative burden for providers and is clear and accessible for service users. Training and support should be provided for those who are without the basic skills needed to understand the information.
Giving feedback should be very easy and should lead to a demonstrable response. Service users should be allowed to make anonymous complaints.
Responses to questions Q1: What currently works well in terms of information for health and adult social care and what needs to change?
1.1 Information collection is currently very bureaucratic. The process is currently very wasteful with a lot of replication of existing data and information that is currently collected is not used by those who requested it. Less time should be spent on gathering information and more on providing services, and the National Commissioning Board should work on a single dataset of useful information.
Q2. What do you think are the most important uses of information, and who are the most important users of it?
2.1 Information should focus on safety measures, levels of engagement and outcomes. Very little other information is required
Q3: Does the description of the information revolution capture all the important elements of the information system? Page 2 of 3 3.1 The description broadly captures all the important elements of the information system. However, it may not be understandable by a vulnerable patient. It should also aim to reduce bureaucracy wherever possible.
3.1 The description broadly captures all the important elements of the information system. However, it may not be understandable by a vulnerable patient. It should also aim to reduce bureaucracy wherever possible.
3.2 There is a tendency for information gathering creep to occur, with information collectors tending to devise new and somewhat unnecessary information gathering protocols. We would support a one-in-one-out approach to future reviews of information gathering.
Q4: Given the current financial climate, how can the ambitions set out in this consultation - to make better use of information and technology to help drive better care and better outcomes - be delivered in the most effective and efficient way?
4.1 To be of value, information should be simple, comprehensible and understandable and Information should be collected and submitted in a simplified format, lessening the administrative burden of converting data from its original format to the required format.
4.2 Information should only be collected if there is a specific use in mind for it. Anecdotal evidence, from IMHSA members, suggests that a great deal of information collected is never used, creating unnecessary costs.
4.3 Information should only require submitting once and all those who use the information should have access to a central data store. Submissions should be made via the internet, after a simple registration process.
Q11: What additional information would be helpful for specific group?
11.1 It would be helpful to ensure that the information they receive is in an understandable format and that there are safeguards to ensure that it is in an understandable format.
Q12: What specific information needs do carers have, and how do they differ from the information needs of those they are caring for? 12.1 Carers require information on confidentiality, safety and safeguarding. However, the service user must be in charge of all major decisions. Q13: What are the information needs of people seeking to self-care or live successfully with long-term physical and mental health conditions and what support do they need to use that information
13.1 Information should be clear and accessible, with training or support provided for those without basic skills.
Q18: What are your views on the approach being taken and the criteria being used to review central data collections?
18.1 There should be an assumption that less information needs to be collected but that the information that is collected should be better fit for purpose.
Q20: What would be the best ways to encourage more widespread feedback from patients, service users, their families and carers? Page 3 of 3 20.1 Making feedback very easy to give and ensuring that feedback leads to demonstrable changes or clear responses should encourage more widespread feedback. Complaints should also be allowed to be submitted anonymously.
20.1 Making feedback very easy to give and ensuring that feedback leads to demonstrable changes or clear responses should encourage more widespread feedback. Complaints should also be allowed to be submitted anonymously.
Q23: What will help ensure that information systems - and the data they collect - are appropriate to support good commissioning at different levels, including decisions by individual patients, GP practices, GP consortia, service providers, local authorities and the NHS Commissioning Board?
23.1 Information should be collected for a specific use and be less bureaucratic to help ensure that information systems are appropriate to support good commissioning.
Q29: What benefits and issues do you think will arise as a greater range of information providers offer information? How could issues be addressed?
29.1 Too much information may lead to confusion and so information that is required should be collected in simple and accessible format. Outcomes should be the key focus for information gathering.
Q30: Would there be benefits from central accreditation or other quality assurance systems for information providers and ‘intermediaries’? Would factors such as cost and bureaucracy outweigh any benefits?
30.1 There would be benefits from central accreditation. In particular it will lead to better validation that the information collected is being used.
Q32: Are there other datasets that you think could be released as an early priority, without compromising individuals’ confidentiality? Would there be any risks associated with their release - if so, how could these be managed?
32.1 The major challenge for a service user is navigating and understanding existing datasets. These should be simplified before any further data is published.
The NHS Commissioning Board should work on a single data set of useful information, available to all who require that information. Data should only be collected when there is a specific use in mind for it.
The information revolution should aim to reduce bureaucracy wherever possible and operate a one-in-one-out approach to reviews of information gathering.
Information should be collected and submitted in a simplified format to ease the administrative burden on providers.
Information given to patients should be clear and accessible, with training and support given to those who are without the basic skills to understand the information.
There should be an assumption that less information needs to be collected but that the information that is collected is better fit for purpose.
Feedback should be easy to give and lead to a demonstrable outcome.