Publication of a new multi-agency Mental Health Core Capabilities Framework


By Skills for Health | 8 May 2024

A new Mental Health Core Capabilities Framework has just been published by Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Integrated Health System and Skills for Health.

The framework, which is designed for multi-agency use, sets out the knowledge and skills required to effectively respond to individuals with mental health needs and was developed by public, independent and third sector organisations to ensure it was applicable across agencies.

The development was prompted by an unprecedented increase in need by public and voluntary services across Hampshire & Isle of Wight (HIOW) in people experiencing mental health and wellbeing issues following the pandemic. A HIOW Mental Health Training Needs Analysis in summer 2022 received over one thousand responses from across multiple sectors. Around 54% of respondents said they needed more training and 33% responded they didn’t know if they needed more training. These responses drove the decision to create a new, up-to-date knowledge and skills framework to support people to identify their training needs, and better respond to individuals with mental health needs.

“This new framework reflects the core capabilities required today by a range of people and services across different organisations,” says Skills for Health’s Senior Consultant, Dawn Probert.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Project Lead Liz Skeats explains why it is behind the publication of the new framework:

“We have received consistent feedback from colleagues that mental health skills and training have not kept pace with the transformation and change in demand.’’

“Against the backdrop of growing national demand for mental health services, this new Core Capabilities Framework is timely and will enable health, social care, voluntary sector and other partners to identify the skills and build capacity to respond more effectively.”

The new framework has been consulted on nationally by individuals and organisations working across several sectors in England, to identify the country’s most pressing mental health skills and training needs.

Dawn Probert, Senior Consultant with Skills for Health is keen to stress, the new framework is of particular relevance to many sectors as well as primary and secondary healthcare:

“Many individuals as well as those working in health increasingly interact with individuals with mental health needs. The support and care required will vary according to their role. The framework development has been supported by other sectors including the police, housing and the voluntary sector.’’

“That being so, the new framework represents a concrete first step toward addressing these needs by identifying the skills and training required to develop a more holistic and person-centred approach to supporting mental health needs across England.”

Liz Skeats continues “HIOW ICS is responsible for the health and care needs of 1.9 million people, and we realise the issues we are experiencing stretch far and wide. The new framework will provide a ‘shared’ language to describe capabilities, training, and development across sectors. It will also give people across HIOW and nationally a framework to use when talking about their personal development needs, increasing confidence and skills. Supporting people when they be struggling with mental wellbeing is not just the preserve of those working in mental health services, everyone can contribute given the skills.

“We are therefore proud to be spearheading this national piece of work in partnership with Skills for Health to enable skills development and care improvements across the country.”

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