Pathways to recovery – A joint briefing paper with Wessex AHSN


We have today published a joint briefing paper with Wessex AHSN, which sets out how we have both developed new, integrated care pathways for mental health that prescribe time frames around clinical interventions and service delivery. The work has take a similar approach to that taken to improve stroke care, where there has been a demonstrable improvement in outcomes for patients and carers. 

These new psychosis pathways aim to reduce the impact of disease and promote recovery by ensuring that every individual gets the best evidence based care at the right time and in the right place. In developing these pathways, a multi-pronged approach has been used, using i) research and data, ii) co-production with individuals and carers, and iii) engagement with clinicians and other stakeholders including commissioners, primary care and third sector organisations. The approach has used a robust methodology which can be adopted for use across the wider NHS. This document describes the approach used in developing the pathways and provides a guide for patients, carers, provider organisations and commissioners on adoption and implementation.

Read our joint briefing paper with Wessex AHSN. The paper has also been endorsed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Rethink Mental Illness.

ICHP’s mental health programme

In North West London, around 25,000 people have been diagnosed with Serious and Enduring Mental Illness including psychosis – higher than the national average prevalence. We know that life expectancy for patients with psychosis is 15-20 years lower than average and that, overall, patients with schizophrenia cost the NHS £11.8 billion per year. In our local area we know that there is a significant gap between best and current practice and our work seeks to address that.

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the treatment of psychosis were published in February 2014 and we have used the guidelines, as well as local expertise, to develop a best practice pathway to benchmark and map the gap between current and best practice. Working in partnership with service users, clinicians, social workers and other partners, we ran several large co-production events exploring solutions to problems within our local system. Some of the biggest gaps in access to best practice in North West London were identified within the early intervention in psychosis care pathway and therefore our current phase of work is focused on this.

Read our new, co-designed pathway for early intervention in psychosis care.

Our approach has set out to maximise the expertise and experience of all of our stakeholders, and put lived experience at the heart of the process. After developing an evidence-based and practical best practice pathway of care, we are now seeking to demonstrate the impact that good data can have in mental health by working together with Public Health England’s Mental Health Intelligence Network to develop an understanding of current outcome measures. Together, we hope to build a picture of what data the system needs to be able to demonstrate improved outcomes in a sustainable way.

We have recently launched our next phase of work to improve outcomes for patients experiencing a first episode of psychosis. This work aims to:

  • Improve transparency of information and communication on care received and outcomes achieved;
  • Improve pathways of care by working across the pathways on transitions, staff engagement and fidelity to best practice.

To read more about our programme of work – read our Plan on a Page.

If you would be interested in finding out more about the project, or getting involved, please contact: