Payment Systems

Supporting commissioners and providers in better understanding their service users and care package costs.


Setting: In October 2011, a consortium led by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust,  including providers, commissioners, and academics was appointed to take forward the development of currencies for CAMHS. They set up a project group, details of which can be found on the PbR Project Team page. The consortium is supported by an Expert Advisory Group made up of stakeholders from around the country, and other government departments.

User group: People commissioning, providing and using children and young people’s mental health services

Aim: To develop a classification system to improve the delivery of services by informing payment systems. The classification categories are called ‘needs-based groupings’. They can be thought of as the range of options of different forms of advice, assessment and help available for service users. The needs-based groupings are designed to help commissioners and service providers gain a better understanding of their service users and the costs of care.

Funding:  Department of Health and NHS England.

Next steps: NHS England plan to test the needs-based groupings.

IT provider/partner: The work was completed by a team at the AFC Evidence Based Practice Unit (EBPU), in collaboration with clinicians, managers, commissioners and researchers. This collaboration was led by the Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust and South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and had input from around the country including Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Leicester and East London NHS Foundation Trust. It also featured input from CAMHS providers across England who collected and submitted data.

Website: The final report and associated documents, including the first version of a guide to choosing needs-based groupings, are available to download from: