The King's Fund -
Mental health services have undergone radical transformation in the past 30 years. A community-based care model has largely replaced the acute and long-term care provided in large institutions. Similar change – from hospital to community-based alternatives – is a long-standing policy objective for physical health care in the United Kingdom. How far the two can be compared has been remarkably under-explored. This paper seeks to correct this by examining the transformation of mental health services in England and the relevance to current policy. Drawing on workshops with those involved in the changes and a review of published literature, the paper explores the context and factors that enabled change to happen in mental health. It includes 10 lessons for service transformation based on these experiences.