University of Birmingham: HSMC
February 2017 - Focus on mental health services
Mental health is frequently in the news with concerns about access to appropriate services and the quality of care and support and HSMC is working with colleagues across the health and care system to help address these challenges.

Our report, Mental Health in the West Midlands Combined Authority was launched on January 31st 2017. The report, commissioned by the West Midlands Mental Health Commission provides a baseline of the costs and activity associated with poor mental health across the West Midlands Combined Authority. This research has informed the action plan for the West Midlands developed by the Mental Health Commission, which was also launched on January 31st by the Rt. Hon Norman Lamb, MP, Chair of the Commission. The latest HSMC Library Storify summarises responses to the launch of report and action plan.
International links
We are actively building international collaborations in mental health. Professor Paul Burstow and Dr Karen Newbigging are meeting colleagues at Orygen: the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health
at the University of Melbourne prior to participating in
the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) 2017 Leadership Exchange in Sydney in February. This builds on Dr Robin Miller’s visit to Australasia last year and events in Sydney and across New South Wales on learning from England regarding the commissioning of community mental health services.
Gender and mental health
Closer to home, Dr Karen Newbigging recently gave a keynote address at an event organised by the Women’s Council of Ireland, in Dublin, on gender sensitivity in mental health.
New Birmingham Policy Commission on Mental Health Promotion
The University of Birmingham Mental Health Policy Commission announced by Professor Paul Burstow
at his inaugural lecture
last autumn has hit the ground running this month. The Commission has been set up to examine the evidence for mental health promotion and prevention as part of a new paradigm that aims to close the gap between need and treatment by addressing the causes of the causes of mental distress and illness.
A call for evidence has been issued and the Commission now has its own dedicated webpages on the University website.
More news stories >
Dr Karen Newbigging considers recent policy announcements by Theresa May on mental health in the light of the content of the NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) – five year geographically-based plans that cover all aspects of NHS funding.
More Viewpoints>
The voluntary sector in mental health crisis care
The Health Services Management Centre (HSMC), in partnership with the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) at the University of Birmingham, Suresearch and the Open University Business School, has won an award from the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme to investigate the role of the voluntary sector in mental health crisis care in England. Led by Dr Karen Newbigging, this study will provide a national overview of the range of crisis support offered by the voluntary sector. The study protocol is available on the NIHR website.
Evaluating system leadership
Last year, Bristol Mental Health, as part of the Avon and Wiltshire Partnership Trust, commissioned HSMC to develop an evaluation approach and undertake an independent evaluation of system leadership in the Bristol Mental Health system. As a result of this work, we developed a framework for evaluating system leadership which assesses performance of a system across seven dimensions.
More research >
Yellow hats are not just for builders:
31 March 2017
This is a free one-day practical workshop on emotional labour, the role it plays in delivering compassionate care, and on the ways to support staff in engaging in emotional labour. We will use “Improvement Lab” techniques to help you examine the issues and develop a plan of action for your workplace. A repeat of a workshop held last September, places are anticipated to be allocated quickly.
visit the website >
European Health Policy Group (EHPG):
12 May 2017
This meeting will include a session examining European health care policy against the changing political backdrop within the European Union.
visit the website >
Supervising student research projects
HSMC’s PhD and MSc students also undertake research that has a mental health focus, for example a comparative analysis of youth mental health services for 16-25 year olds in the UK and Australia.
We also provide research supervision and professional development opportunities to students on other programmes, particularly in clinical psychology and public health.
visit the website >
In 2016 we ran a series of masterclasses on the evidence and economics to underpin effective commissioning of mental health services and care and recently contributed to an Economic and Social Research Council seminar series on coproduction in commissioning.
visit the website >
Recent Publications on Mental Health
Glasby, J. and Tew, J. (2015) Mental health policy and practice. 3rd ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Griffith, L. and Glasby, J. (2015) Mental health matters: improving mental health services in acute settings and understanding how innovation spreads. Birmingham: University of Birmingham. [= Health Services Management Centre Policy Paper 20]

Heginbotham, C. and Newbigging, K. (2016) Public Health. 4 vols. London: Sage.

Machin, K. and Newbigging, K. (2016) Advocacy: a stepping stone to recovery. London: Centre for Mental health/ImROC.

Newbigging, K. and Parsonage, M. (2017) Mental health in the West Midlands Combined Authority: Report for the West Midlands Mental Health Commission. Birmingham: University of Birmingham

Newbigging, K., Ridley, J., McKeown, M., Machin, K. and Poursanidou, K. (2015) ‘When you haven't got much of a voice’: an evaluation of the quality of Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) services in England. Health and Social Care in the Community, 23(3): 313-324.

Newbigging, K., Ridley, J., Mckeown, M., Sadd, J., Machin, K., et al. (2015) Independent mental health advocacy - the right to be heard. Context, values and good practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Rees, J., Miller, R. and Buckingham, H. (2016) Commission incomplete: exploring the new model for purchasing public services from the third sector. Journal of Social Policy, 1-20.

Miller, R., and Appleton, S. (2015) Multiple exclusion homelessness: is simplicity the answer to this complexity? Journal of Integrated Care, 23(1): 23-34.

Miller, R. and Rees, J. (2014) Mental health commissioning: master or subject of change? Mental Health Review Journal, 19(3): 145-155.

Newbigging, K. (2017) "Mainstreaming gender equity to improve women's mental health: lessons from England." In: Sánchez-López, M.P. and Limiñana-Gras, R.M. (eds) The Psychology of Gender and Health. London: Academic Press.

Newbigging, K. (2015) Mainstreaming gender equity in health: Possibilities and pitfalls for policy and practice. Annals of the Global Health Equity Foundation [online], July 2015: 46-50.

Newbigging, K., Ridley, J. and Sadd, J. (2017) Commissioning Care Act Advocacy: A work in progress [online]. Available at: [Accessed 6 February 2017]

Ridley, J., De la Haye, Sadd, J., Newbigging, K. and Machin, K. (forthcoming) Advocacy. In: Wright, K. and Mckeown, N. (eds) Essentials of mental health nursing. London: Sage.
View our recent publications >
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