Salford is to become one of only four locations in the UK to receive funding from the National Lottery to improve the support available in the community for people living with mental health problems.
The National Lottery has awarded £3.4 million to Living Well UK, a three-year programme which involves voluntary and public sector organisations working in partnership to support people living with mental health problems get the help they need quickly and live well in the community.
The programme is inspired by an approach developed in Lambeth, south London, which has made a significant impact over the last seven years helping people with mental health issues get support within the community earlier and also involving them in the design of the support they need for the future.
This new integrated way of working in Lambeth has reduced the number of people going into residential care by 43% and saved almost £2.5m by offering support that focuses on recovery in the community rather than residential or inpatient provision. Through Living Well UK, it is hoped Salford, along with Edinburgh, Luton and Tameside & Glossop, will become internationally recognised as leading the way for providing good mental health in community and primary care settings. The work done across the four locations could potentially be scaled across the NHS.
Dr Tom Tasker, chair of NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Mental health is often referred to as the ‘Cinderella’ of the NHS, but that is not the case for Salford and providing the best possible mental health support is a huge priority for us. Having this funding from the Big Lottery Fund and support from Innovation Unit through Living Well UK is going to help us transform the way people live with mental health in Salford and I’m looking forward to seeing just what we are going to achieve over the next three years.”
Salford CCG has led Salford’s involvement with the programme along with partners Start in Salford, VOCAL Health and Wellbeing, Six Degrees Social Enterprise, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford City Council and Salford Primary Care Together.
Bernadette Conlon, chief executive of Start, said: “I am thrilled that Salford has been chosen as one of the four UK sites for this new programme. We are looking forward to being involved and see this as a great opportunity to continue our collaborative work around mental health across Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sectors”.
Councillor Rob Sharpe, executive support member for adult social care and mental health, said: “The Lambeth Living Well Approach will help us to learn from best practice to develop our mental health offer to local people. We will build on our work with partners to look at how we can continue to support good mental health in the city. We are looking forward to working with Innovation Unit and colleagues from Lambeth to improve how we meet the needs of the people of Salford.”