A working partnership

25 October 2022

A guide to developing integrated statutory and voluntary sector mental health services

Ben Taylor 

The NHS and the voluntary sector are increasingly expected to work together to deliver integrated mental health services. This comes with both greater challenges and greater rewards than working alone, with the potential both to transform the mental health system and provide more effective support for people with mental health difficulties.

However, there has been a lack of guidance for NHS and VCS providers on how to successfully implement this integration. Our guide A working partnership aims to fill that gap and walk providers from both sectors through the potential pitfalls of working together and how to overcome them.

Developing integrated mental health services between NHS and voluntary providers can transform the care someone receives, making it more accessible, relevant and holistic. This joint working also has the potential to reduce mental health inequalities, by reaching people who are less likely to access mental health services. This work has a much greater chance of success if it remains authentically client-centred and actively engages people with lived experience throughout.

Our good practice guide provides invaluable advice based on learning across the sector to encourage and improve integrated working, providing value to the wider system and delivering better services for people who need them.

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