In 2018 the Living Well UK Programme was awarded £3.4 million in National Lottery funding to support the development of Living Well services in 4 localities across the UK. 


The programme’s aim is to replicate and amplify the success of the ‘original’ Living Well service in Lambeth, south London, and support the creation of community-based mental health services that deliver better outcomes both at the individual and system level.

A programme evaluation is being carried out by Cordis Bright. Over time, it will assess evidence of impact of the new service models across the 4 programme localities, as well as drawing out learning about the programme’s methodology for adaption and adoption of a service model and culture. The evaluation results will be published in July 2021.

Core Living Well Outcomes


Early on in the Programme, the 4 Living Well UK sites identified their Big Outcomes and built their outcome measurement frameworks, which will allow them to track the impact of the new service model over time. 


Although each site Collaborative had freedom in defining their outcomes, fidelity to the core Living Well principles and values meant that there is strong consistency in outcomes across sites. 

The overarching programme evaluation will be monitoring the following core Living Well Outcomes across sites:

Person level outcomes:

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People are recovering, staying well, and can live the life they want to lead


People feel connected and have positive relationships


People have choice and control


People are living in settled accommodation of their choice where they feel safe and secure


People receive good quality, person-centred help, care and support


People have opportunities to learn, work and volunteer

System level outcomes:

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Reduction in unplanned and crisis health and social care utilisation, including emergency response as well as institutional placements

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Reduced levels of mental and emotional distress

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Timely access to help and support when and where it is needed

The Impact of Lambeth Living Well


The Living Well UK Programme was born out of a desire to replicate and scale the innovative asset-based service model developed in Lambeth’s Living Well Hub between 2013 and 2015. 


Impact figures set out in the Hub’s year 2 evaluation indicate that this new service model delivered care and support faster and at a lower cost, reducing rates of referral into secondary services and improving user experience.

“Working with the staff has enabled me to build up my confidence in dealing with day to day issues, and coping when things get difficult. I also feel better equipped to make confident decisions and when I am well I enjoy every moment playing with my son.”

–  Hannah, Living Well Hub Service User, Lambeth


x 470

People supported by the Living Well Network Hub each month, 

many of whom would not
have previously had
any support at all.

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​reduction in referrals to secondary care teams.

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average cost per person. 
A low cost to alternative
secondary care.

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for support in secondary care (down from 1 month to 1 week).

Wider Programme Impact

We believe the Living Well approach has an important role to play in realising the vision set out in NHS England’s Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults. 

The Living Well UK Programme’s ambitious aim is that the new Living Well Systems - in the 4 adoption sites and beyond - will act as demonstrators for an efficient and effective people-centred mental health support solution in community and primary
care settings. 

In building a national community of Living Well Systems, we hope to support the scaling of a model that has the potential to transform current provision of community based mental health services through genuine co-production with users, professionals and local system leaders across the country.

£3.4 million


New service models developed

Adoption sites across the UK


60 +

people involved in design teams

They are accountable for the design and development of the approach, ensuring it is connected deeply to the needs and aspirations of local people.


Design teams are made up of people with lived experience, carers, practitioners, clinicians and commissioners. 


new Living Well teams inducted to Living Well culture and practice


live prototypes (Salford, Edinburgh & Tameside & Glossop) 

80 +

people involved in Collaboratives

They are helping to steer the development of Living Well practice and service models and drive change in their wider systems

“What attracted me to my role in the prototyping team is it’s an innovative way of working and a breath of fresh air compared to my previous role. What has been missing in services has been found in this project.”

–  Prototyping team member,

Tameside and Glossop

Supporting implementation of 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 positioning the development of new Living Well models in the context of their ambitions to 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 in populations of 30-50,000 people

  • 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 models 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 developing new models; processes - crucially - that develop the conditions required for genuine co-design, co-production and collaborative leadership and commissioning (across local partners and sectors).

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

Want to be part of this work?

Contact Nick Webb

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