Commissioning of Third Sector mental health services

This HSMC research is about public sector commissioning successfully engaging with TSO's to deliver integrated and holistic outcomes.

This research is being completed by HSMC in collaboration with the Third Sector Research Centre and will focus on commissioning of services to support people with mental health difficulties. This focus will enable us to both use mental health as an example of connecting area of commissioning between different public sector bodies, and to explore commissioning practice within mental health.

What this means is we are interested in mental health as a key theme, it does not mean we are only interested in the commissioning of health and social care services. Building on the current national Mental Health Strategy, outcomes related to mental health and people with mental health difficulties will be supported by commissioning in a range of policy fields (or funding silos) which we expect will include:

  • Health
  • Social Care
  • Housing
  • Homelessness
  • Probation
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Employment

The research will be based in a sample of four local authorities and involve 3 stages - a survey of TSO's who work with people with mental health difficulties, interviews with a sample of TSO's and public sector commissioners, and an event to bring the two sectors together to reflect on the findings and how they can work together to improve outcomes.


January-August 2013


Robin Miller and James Rees



Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) and the Barrow Cadbury UK Trust.