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  • Led by Changing Lives, in partnership with the three Newcastle GP practices that form West End Family Health; Mental Health Concern; Newcastle University; and Social Finance Ltd.
  • Aimed to enable health and voluntary organisations to collaborate to better understand and meet the broad range of health and wellbeing needs in Newcastle’s west end.
  • Developed the multidisciplinary workforce to take a place-based approach to care.
  • Established a collaborative culture resulting in sustainable improvements in wellbeing and quality of life within a supportive community.
  • Delivered between April 2019 and August 2020.

There are high levels of deprivation in the west end of Newcastle, where many residents have unmet, complex needs and frequently visit their GP. Evidence suggests that a range of non-medical, locally-available support can increase health and wellbeing, and reduce pressure on GPs.

This project implemented an innovative ‘place-based’ approach to bring together staff from traditionally separate health and voluntary sectors in a multidisciplinary workforce to support people in Newcastle’s west end holistically, whatever their needs.

Changing Lives, a charity supporting people facing multiple and complex disadvantages, partnered with the three local GP practices within West End Family Health Primary Care Network, plus Mental Health Concern, Newcastle University and Social Finance Ltd to create the Newcastle Healthy Futures (NHF) partnership.

The partnership set out to understand local needs, develop a shared vision and test new ways of supporting people to promote wellbeing and enable prevention and early intervention. This informed new ways of working, such as helping people return to work after sickness absence, improving access to mental health support for minority ethnic groups, and encouraging GPs and charities to focus collaboratively on homelessness, women’s health and mental health issues.

Embedding place-based care was a non-linear process requiring constant adaptation. However, factors that challenged (e.g. diverse priorities, overlapping resources and lack of traditional organisational infrastructure) also resulted in significant, community-wide impact, including sustainable improvements in quality of life and long-term conditions, reduced health inequalities, and increased resilience and self-management.

NHF has been at the forefront of mental health transformation, within the city-wide approach led by Collaborative Newcastle. It continues to seek ways to demonstrate the value of innovative collaborations, creating health and wealth opportunities for communities.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Guy Pilkington, Chair of Newcastle Healthy Futures, Cruddas Park Surgery.

About this programme

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