Welcome to the CAMHS Payment System Project

The project’s final report and associated documents, including the first version of a guide to choosing needs-based groupings, are available here.

This site is for anyone interested in finding out about the CAMHS Payment System Project, which ran from October 2011 until 30th April 2015. The aim of the project is to inform the development of a system by which payment for CAMHS can be determined according to the amount of clinical resources needed by different types of children and young people who attend CAMHS, taking into consideration the kinds of outcomes they achieve.

The current phase of the project involves working with 20 sites across England to gather data and explore how best Payment by Results can be implemented in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. The data collected from this phase will be analysed to help inform the next phase of the project, which includes the development of an algorithm for clustering.

On this site you can find out more about the CAMHS PbR project, read the project’s latest news and access resources relating to the pilot. You will also find useful links and documents, and find the answers to frequently asked questions.

If there is anything that you would like to see added to the site, or if you have any feedback, please get in touch with us. We would be pleased to hear how we can help make this site better for you.

Please note: Although the best effort is made to ensure all information on this website is correct and up to date, all text and resources are to be considered as draft documents and may be subject to on-going revision.

What is Payment by Results?

Payment by Results (PbR) is the method that the Government uses to pay for health care in the acute sector. From 2012/13 it is being introduced for mental health services for working age adults and older people, and government ministers have stated that they want the approach extended to cover Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

How does Payment by Results operate?

Providers are paid in relation to the mixture of cases (‘case-mix’) that they see. In acute care, cases are retrospectively classified into Healthcare Resource Groups (HRGs), based on either interventions received, or diagnosis, or a mixture of the two. In mental health, the classification is different. Service users are allocated by clinicians to the most appropriate cluster for their current need. Payment by Results was introduced from 1 April 2012 in mental health services for working age adults and older people. Details of the payment systems can be found on the Monitor website.

Department of Health’s Code of Conduct for Payment by Results

The objectives of PbR, as set out in the Department of Health’s Code of Conduct for Payment by Results, are to:

  • Improve efficiency and value for money through enhanced service quality, as both commissioners and providers can retain and invest surpluses and savings to improve services
  • Facilitate choice, by enabling funds to go to the services and providers chosen by patients
  • Facilitate plurality and increase contestability, enabling funds to go to any provider (NHS or independent sector)
  • Enable service innovation and improve quality, by rewarding providers whose services attract patients
  • Drive the introduction of new models of care
  • Help reduce waiting times by rewarding providers for the volume of work done
  • Make the system fairer and more transparent, using consistent fixed price payments to providers based on volume and complexity of activity
  • Get the price ‘right’ for services, by paying a price that ensures value for money for the taxpayer and incentivises the provision of innovative, high quality patient care.

DH’s Code of Conduct for Payment by Results

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