The Collaborative is a platform for partners to come together to radically improve the outcomes experienced by people with severe and enduring mental health problems.

What is the collaborative?
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We are a group of commissioners, providers of health and social care services and service users and carers.  We provide these services for, to and with people when they have a diagnosis of severe mental illness. We comprise organisations from statutory [GP/primary, community and secondary NHS and local authority] and voluntary sectors.  We recognise that we are a small but representative sample brought together by the Commissioners to develop a radically new service offer.

The Collaborative is strengthened by the participation of Vital Link (user and carer engagement body) together with some of their members who are experts by experience.  Their valuable contribution is not a substitute for full engagement and involvement of people who use our services and their carers in developing the designs and plans for service change.

We welcome the involvement of commissioners [health and social care] and recognise that they have set the conditions for us to do something different. The conditions include a commitment to a much more flexible approach to commissioning for outcomes rather than inputs. In proposing the establishment of the Collaborative they have been brave in inviting us to develop a different way of working and service offer.  In that context we have taken it as our responsibility as providers to be brave and develop that radically different offer.

The involvement of Lambeth Council is crucial because the people who will co-produce our new service offer with us are citizens of Lambeth.  Citizens have rights and responsibilities; see themselves as part of society and work to create the life they want to lead.  Citizens are not permanently in the care of any organisation,rather they access services and facilities as they need to and are expected to contribute to society as well as benefit from what it has to offer.

We have been invited to be a demonstration site as part of the Lambeth Council’s Commission into The Co-operative Council – a new settlement between citizens and public services; A new approach to public service delivery.