Scaling and spreading
Living Well UK to Edinburgh, Luton, Salford, and Tameside & Glossop

Adult mental health

With National Lottery, Luton, Edinburgh, Salford and Tameside & Glossop

Living Well UK is a three year programme that is helping local systems develop new models of care for mental health in community mental health and primary care services, inspired by an approach developed in Lambeth, South London.

The Living Well model was originally developed by the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative. Over the last ten years, partners in Lambeth have worked collaboratively as an alliance to deliver a vision that is about helping everyone, who experiences mental health difficulties, irrespective of eligibility, to recover, stay well, make their own choices and participate on an equal footing in everyday life. 

The Living Well UK programme has been awarded £3.4 million in National Lottery funding to support new local partnerships in Edinburgh, Luton, Salford, and Tameside & Glossop that will each develop their own version of a Living Well system.

The programme is helping to build Living Well systems of support that put people’s strengths and lived experience at the centre and are designed to help people recover and stay well as part of their community.

Living Well systems of support are distinguishable by a set of key features:

Outcomes – Are accountable for people centred outcomes that promote choice, recovery and citizenship

Access – Provide timely access to support where it is needed

Citizens – See people as citizens within communities, rather than ‘patients’ or ‘professionals’

Collaboration – Work collaboratively and flatten hierarchies

Voice – Put the voice of lived experience at the centre of services and the system

Strengths – Work holistically, building up and on people’s strengths

Networks – Activate supportive social networks

Learning – Have permission to test and learn together

The programme

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Develop co-produced service pathways and collaborative delivery models in each of the four cities. 
  • Improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes and reduce demand on secondary care in each of the adoption sites.
  • Develop the system leadership and collaboration between different organisations necessary to drive radical change in all the adoption sites.
  • Create a national movement for new models of community-based mental health services that influences national policy and service provision

The programme has a number of key features:

  • Partnership – Living Well UK is a partnership between National Lottery, Innovation Unit, Lambeth Living Well Alliance and the four adoption sites.
  • Lived experience shaping services – the lived experience of people with mental health problems is at the centre of the way each of the Living Well systems is being designed.
  • Co-design – people with lived experience, their carers and families, plus staff, managers and leaders are being supported to design new services together. 
  • Adapt and adopt – the programme supports the four adoption sites to learn from Lambeth’s Living Well system and how the team in Lambeth approached change but, crucially, they are adapting it to their context. Sites are not ‘cutting and pasting’ Lambeth’s approach.

The sites are:

  • Thrive Edinburgh
  • Reimagining Mental Health Luton 
  • Living Well Salford
  • Living Life Well Tameside & Glossop
  • Conversation
  • Disabled person & carer
  • People getting coffee
  • Conversation
  • People hugging

Supporting the NHS Community Mental Health Framework

The Community Mental Health Framework describes how the Long Term Plan’s vision for a place-based community mental health model can be realised, and how community services should modernise to offer whole-person, whole-population health approaches, aligned with the new Primary Care Networks.

Senior commissioners and other leaders in the Living Well UK programme are using their work developing a Living Well system to help deliver this new framework. This is because the NHS framework and Living Well share common ground in the following areas:

  • Aims and outcomes – that deliver holistic, person-centred, integrated care 
  • Target cohort – supporting people with ‘less complex’ and ‘complex’ needs that fall between the gaps of primary and secondary care
  • Service offer and workforce – multi-disciplinary teams delivering clinical and social interventions
  • System change – managing demand differently and achieving greater integration
  • Implementation – fostering collaborative leadership and collaborative commissioning 

There is a great deal of interest in England in the opportunity to develop Living Well systems that will deliver the new landscape of community provision as set out in the framework.

There is particular interest in ‘the how’ – in other words how to design and run an effective process for moving a whole system towards a new way of working emphasising genuine co-design with people with lived experience, genuine integration with the third sector, blurring the boundaries between primary and secondary care, co-production, collaborative leadership and collaborative commissioning (across local partners and sectors).

Innovation Unit is keen to support new places in England to plan for implementation and share learning from the Living Well sites.

About The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, its funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 it has awarded £9 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.

​Its UK Portfolio supports UK-wide projects to test and grow bold ideas that put people in the lead to address long-term social issues and improve the quality of life across the UK and internationally.

The National Lottery Community Fund will monitor progress for the programme against agreed outcomes and help to share learning with other projects that it funds.

National Lottery Community Fund