Since 2018 Cordis Bright been the external evaluation partner for Living Well UK. Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and led by the Innovation Unit, the programme has been working across the UK to transform mental health systems through innovative ways that help people achieve good mental health in community and primary care settings, whilst reshaping wider mental health services and support. The aim of the programme has been to support the transformation of four pioneering sites across the UK, whilst generating evidence and learning to influence transformation across the NHS in the UK.
Over the course of the evaluation we produced detailed interim and final reports for each of the sites. This report is a summary of the evaluation findings across the programme. The evaluation found that Living Well has filled a gap in support for people who fall between primary care and secondary mental health services, breaking the cycle of people ‘bouncing’ around the system, presenting at multiple different services but not getting help until their mental health needs have escalated. There is good evidence that the recovery-focused Living Well approach supports people to make progress towards improved mental health and quality of life. People have also been supported to achieve wider life goals. Key features of the Living Well approach which have enabled the service to achieve good outcomes for people are: working with people who may not fit traditional criteria for accessing services; an ‘easy in easy out’ approach, with the ability to self-refer and to return to the service if necessary; flexible, individually tailored support from a core multi-disciplinary team; a wider network of services and groups offering practical and emotional support; a strengths-based, recovery focused approach to supporting people; support for people to achieve their own goals, and onward referral to appropriate support.