Background and Aims

Lambeth created a collaborative health and care partnership called Lambeth Together. The aim of the partnership is to improve health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities for people living in Lambeth. Lambeth Together is formed by a number of alliances, the most advanced of these is the Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance.

The Living Well Network Alliance was developed in 2015 and is a collaboration between five organisations: Certitude and Thames Reach, NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), and Lambeth Council. The alliance is an agreement to provide mental health services for working age adults in Lambeth. The Alliance seeks to provide support better mental health services for working age adults, with a focus on improving outcomes for residents with Serious Mental Illness (SMI), such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or severe depression, by addressing their needs holistically.

People with an SMI often have housing, financial, social, substance misuse and other challenges in addition to their mental health needs. Without support to address these challenges, successful treatment and recovery is much less likely.

People in Lambeth reported that often they felt like they were being passed around different mental health care teams, with teams managing their needs in isolation. This led to them asking for mental health care that provided services that were quicker to find, that focussed on helping people stay out of hospital, and that focussed on patients not staying in hospital longer than was needed.

Solution

The Living Well Network Alliance brings social care, housing and mental health service users, commissioners, and providers together, pooling their expertise and budgets to support all the needs of a person with an SMI.

Their work aims to deliver the ‘Big 3 Outcomes’:

  • Helping people recover and stay well
  • Make their own choices
  • Participate in daily life on an equal footing

These are achieved through six priorities:

  1. Reduce numbers of people reaching crisis point and provide prompt and appropriate support for people in crisis.
  2. Increase numbers of people able to live independently.
  3. Increase numbers of people living in stable and appropriate accommodation.
  4. Improve mental health outcomes for people from black communities in Lambeth.
  5. Improve physical health for people with mental health issues.
  6. Increase numbers of people in education, training, volunteering, or employment.

The Live Well Alliance listened to the people of Lambeth and launched:

  • Single Point of Access (SPA). This allowed people speak to a clinician who is able to refer them directly to the most appropriate support.
  • Short-term & focussed support services. Supports people up to three months in the short term or provides support to people during their recovery in the long term. These groups are formed of community mental health teams, social workers, and voluntary sector staff.
  • New crisis outreach service.
  • Treehouse. Launched a 24/7 supported step forward house to reduce the use of in-patient beds.

Outcomes

The overall outcomes of this programme of work are as follows:

  • The short-term support service received 1,133 referrals in its first year.
  • The number of in-patient beds used reduced from an average of 89.4 beds per month in the first year to 77.6 beds per month in the second year.
  • Around 600 people a month were referred to the Single Point of Access (SPA) during its first 6 months.
  • Approved mental health professionals received 9% fewer referrals in our second year and carried out 6% more Mental Health Act Assessments
  • The home treatment team supported 778 people in their homes in the second year, compared with 727 people in the first year.
  • Talking therapy services supported 8,640 people in the second year compared to 8,423 in the first, with 54% of people recovering compared to 50% in the first year.

Additional Information

You can find more about the Living Well Network Alliance by accessing the Living Well Alliance report.

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