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Evaluation of a mental health and wellbeing network for a London borough

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Evaluation of a mental health and wellbeing network for a London borough

An integrated mental health and wellbeing network in a diverse London borough provides holistic support built around the recovery model.

The council needed evidence to decide on the network’s future

The council had an opportunity to redesign and reprioritise mental health support across the borough while reducing costs. It engaged Nous to evaluate the network’s effectiveness in improving outcomes for people with mental health conditions; its diversity and fairness with respect to the needs of local communities; and its design and delivery, including partnership and management arrangements.

Nous undertook wide stakeholder consultation and data analysis

Nous used focus groups and interviews to capture views from a broad cross-section of the borough’s diverse population. The groups included:

  • service users, including people recovering from serious mental illness
  • service providers, including local mental health charities
  • commissioners
  • staff from the local mental health trust, Clinical Commissioning Group, Healthwatch and Jobcentre Plus.

In addition to the insights drawn from these consultations, Nous analysed staff and service user surveys and management information. We also drew on our work on similar services in the UK and Australia to develop recommendations for improving the service model and commissioning process.

Our detailed report will inform future decisions

Our report showed that wellbeing outcomes could be improved rapidly through some simple interventions, including strengthening end-of-programme support for service users, developing specific outcome targets for priority groups and ensuring collaborative management.
The council is using our findings and recommendations to inform its planning for the network’s future.

What you can learn from the council

  • Planning and resource allocation decisions should be based on a comprehensive understanding of outcomes for service users – not on delivery outputs and volumes.
  • High turnover in key commissioning roles can inhibit proactive management and associated performance oversight and strategic guidance.
  • Flexible programmes that can be individually tailored on the frontline enable providers to better meet service user and community needs.

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