Organisations that have signed up to Equally Well UK have demonstrated their commitment to prioritising physical health for people with mental health problems as well as pledging to play their part in reducing the inequalities.
Please click on a member below to read their individual pledge:
For too long, inequalities in physical health for people with mental health conditions have been ignored or taken for granted. We are supporting and promoting Equally Well UK to help to bring about sustained and significant change across the country.
As a Member-led charity we are fully aware of the physical health inequalities faced by people affected by mental illness. We also know from experience that improving physical health can be a key part of recovery from a mental illness, and essential to achieving a better quality of life.
We should be relentless in addressing the physical health of those with a mental illness and the significant inequality they face. We join the Equally Well collaborative with the aim to play our part in reducing this gap.
We believe that it is fundamentally important that everyone who accesses healthcare is confident that they will receive the best possible care, irrespective of the nature of their illness or infirmity, and we are committed to working with others to achieve this aim.
"We are proud to be part of this critical movement to improve the quality of everyday life for people with mental illness. Physical health concerns often go unrecognised and untreated and this has to change."
"People with severe mental health problems are dying prematurely – largely from preventable illnesses. This is one of our greatest shames as a society. We need to be resolute that through Equally Well we will make this a thing of the past."
"The early deaths and illness experienced by people with a mental health condition are in large part caused by smoking. We are pleased to be part of a movement challenging the norms that perpetuate poor health for this community."
"Physical health and a person’s mental health needs are closely linked and we must all provide person centered holistic care, each person has a unique set of care needs which we all must ensure are met."
“As the third largest health profession, pharmacists working across the NHS can play a key role in improving people’s physical and mental health, so we are delighted to support the launch of the Equally Well Charter.”
Everyone should have the same opportunity to lead a healthy long life, no matter who they are, what their circumstances, or where they live in England. Public Health England is committed to system wide action to reduce inequalities and support people living with mental illness to live well for longer.
Lily Makurah, National Lead for Public Mental Health, PHE
"We are dedicated to providing outstanding and compassionate care for our service users and patients, and by pledging our commitment to the Equally Well Charter for equal health, we will take another step forward to ensuring our services continue to evolve and meet the needs of our communities.
“We will strive to ensure that our services are accessible to anyone experiencing mental health problems. Our colleagues will continue to work with service users to improve their physical wellbeing and to prevent, treat and manage physical health problems, creating individual care plans to their needs"
Arthritis Action focuses on the mental and physical aspects of living with arthritis. Research commissioned by Arthritis Action in 2018, involving over 2,000 people with arthritis in the UK, found that nearly half (49% ) reported that their pain often or always makes them feel down or depressed. Around half of those who reported poor mental health also indicated a high anxiety score (between 7 and 10), illustrating the link between mental health and anxiety.
This well-documented link between long-term pain and mental illness makes the Equally Well UK Charter’s pledge such a priority. Our work focuses on reaching more people with arthritis to educate them about self-management, and support their mental wellbeing.
Action on Smoking and Health is working to achieve the vision of the Mental Health and Smoking Partnership to reduce rates of smoking among people with a mental health condition to the level of the rest of the population. Over the next year, we pledge to; support the work of the Partnership, publish a report on implementation of NICE guidance on smoking in mental health trusts, undertake a survey of community mental health providers and commence a project to assess the training needs of mental health staff in relation to smoking.
Pledged on the August 2018
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive said: “Equally Well UK’s ambition to take seriously the poor physical health of people with a mental health condition resonates with ASH. The early deaths and illness experienced by people with a mental health condition are in large part caused by high rates of smoking. For too long health services have been complacent about this, seeing smoking as the norm. But all people have an equal right to good health and all people should be given an equal chance to live smokefree and escape the death and diseases caused by smoking. We are pleased to be part of a movement challenging the norms which perpetuate poor health for those with a mental health condition.”
Association of Mental Health Providers is committed to ensuring mental and physical health is integrated and encourage effective joined-up care, which can be tailored to a person’s needs. As the representative organisation for voluntary and community sector mental health service providers, we are committed to working with our membership to ensure that people with mental health needs have equal access to high quality physical health care. The VCSE sector provides effective, whole-system care, evidenced through a range of services being delivered, and it has the knowledge and experience to bridge the gaps that exist.
Pledged in October 2018
Kathy Roberts, CEO of Association of Mental Health Providers, said: “We are proud to be a founding member of Equally Well UK Network and to have signed the Charter working to improve physical health support for people with a mental illness, something that has been neglected for long enough. The initiative is much-needed and we looking forward to working alongside organisations across the different sectors to address the mortality gap and tackle this health inequality.”
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust embrace the opportunity to be involved with the Equally Well initiative. We are proud to be part of this vital work to improve the quality of life for people with mental illness through ensuring a whole person approach to care.
We pledge to continue to lead on equality in health, being innovative and bold in our ideas to implement BEH’s vision for integrated health care. Placing equal importance on mental and physical health with the support of digital technologies to address poor mortality rates in mental health patients and improve patient outcomes; working towards reducing variation in care and access to treatment across the trust and beyond.
We will ensure doctors have a strong voice in advocating for the highest quality healthcare: promoting the provision of services that meet the physical health needs of people with mental health conditions, as well as action on the wider-determinants of health and wellbeing, to help reduce the disparity in physical health outcomes for people with mental health conditions.
The BDA is committed to educating all our members about the importance of inclusion for those with a diagnosis of mental illness. The BDA is committed to providing support to dietitians and other healthcare professionals in recognising the important role good nutrition and hydration can play as a foundation to good physical health for all.
Pledged in September 2019
Alison Jowett, Chair of our Mental Health Specialist Group said:
“We are delighted to sign up to the Equally Well UK Charter, affirming our commitment to ensure good physical health for those with a diagnosis of mental health illness. We know that people with a diagnosis mental health illness are more likely to have poor diets, for a variety of complex reasons. Some mental health conditions are directly linked to diet and nutrition, such as eating disorders, whilst for others, medications or symptoms of their illness may contribute to poor nutritional health. Dietitians have an important role in offering people tailored support to help them be both mentally and physically well. We recognise the need for all dietitians, not just those specialising in mental health, to understand these links and to ensure they are inclusive and unbiased in their treatment of all patients”
The British Lung Foundation want to see a world where everyone can breathe clean air with health lungs. Prevalence of severe mental illness is higher among those with a respiratory condition. We know that smoking is a significant cause of and contributor to lung disease and that rates are higher among people with a mental health condition (approximately 40%).
As part of the partnership, we will support Equally Well and work with other members to reduce physical health inequalities for people with a mental illness. We will bring our expertise in smoking cessation policy and continue to advocate for increased access to stop smoking support, so that everyone who smokes has access to quit. The British Lung Foundation helpline and support groups are open to anyone with a lung condition who needs support with physical or mental health.
Centre for Mental Health will support and promote Equally Well UK as a collaborative to bring about a sustained and significant improvement in the physical health support offered to people with mental health conditions. By providing the secretariat to Equally Well UK, we will bring our expertise and our commitment to equality to this vital area of work and give it the best possible chance of making a major impact on people’s lives.
Pledged in July 2018
Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive said: “For too long, inequalities in physical health for people with mental health conditions have been ignored or taken for granted. We want this to change. No one should have their physical health ignored or dismissed just because they have a mental illness. And no one should face a dramatically reduced life expectancy for lack of attention to their physical health. We are supporting and promoting Equally Well UK to help to bring about sustained and significant change across the country in addressing this shocking health inequality.”
Certitude pledge to Equally Well UK:
At Certitude, we believe everyone has the right to a good life. We focus our support on helping people to define what a good life looks like to them and helping them to achieve it – this includes supporting people to improve and maintain their physical wellbeing.
People we support have told us they want to learn to cook healthy meals, want help exercising and want support around their substance use. We have established a physical wellbeing steering group with an initial focus of:
Developing materials, details of online and local help for people we support and staff to use. This includes monthly health briefings for people to increase knowledge on a range of health conditions.
Developing a harm minimisation approach across our mental health services
Developing new opportunities for people to learn healthy cooking skills
Increasing people’s access to and confidence in using a range of exercise opportunities.
Defining our role in advocating for people’s physical wellbeing, access to healthcare and support.
Pledged 7 September 2018
Liz Durrant – Director of Mental Health at Certitude said: “At Certitude we believe everyone has the right to a good life and that means a life they live to a grand old age, filled with hope, opportunities and good mental and physical health. We are not comfortable with the current truth that having a mental health need puts you at risk of dying 15 – 20 years younger due to physical illness. We want people to feel able to access physical health support and to not have to rely on harmful coping mechanisms in response to their distress. Ultimately, we must create a system where we stop accepting people’s premature mortality as inevitable”
People with severe mental ill health experience some of the most profound health inequalities of any section of society. Long term physical health problems, such as heart disease, respiratory illness and diabetes, develop much earlier in this group and are more common. Rates of smoking and obesity are much higher and physical activity is greatly reduced leading to a reduction in life expectancy. The Closing the Gap network’s mission is to better understand and reduce this health inequality.
The College of Mental Health Pharmacy will support the Equally Well Collaborative wherever it can to provide information about medication and its side effects and the best way to deal with those effects. We are keen to share the key messages with our members and to start to improve the physical health inequalities that exist.
Pledged in September 2018
Juliet Shepherd , President said “For such a health inequality to still exist is unacceptable. The College of Mental Health Pharmacy is proud to join this group of organisations to finally make a change for the better.”
Cygnet Health Care
David Wilmott, Director of Nursing said: “Here at Cygnet Health Care the relationship between physical health and a person’s mental health needs are closely linked. We have always strived to ensure that we look at our patients from a holistic care perspective, encompassing their mental health and physiological healthcare needs. The ways in which we provide care has changed and also we all need to ensure we respond to ensure all of the healthcare needs of our patients and service users are met, this will ensure we provide high-quality care now and in the future. We believe the campaign for equally well is so important as a healthcare provider and a joined up approach to this area, whereby we are working together will help us achieve these aims.”
Devon Partnership NHS Trust provides specialist mental health services and services for people with a learning disability in Devon, and services for older people with dementia in Bristol. Whilst we have a CQC rating of ‘Good’ we recognise we’ve much to do to improve the general health of people using our services and to close the 20 year mortality gap experienced by people with mental illness and/or a learning disability.
We are proud to join Equally Well and look forward to sharing ideas and expertise. We are fortunate to have an active and growing contribution from people with lived experience and their carers and supporters as part of our Together programme. We have opened a GP-led health centre at Langdon Hospital in the heart of our secure services campus to ensure that the people in our care there have access to the same general health services as others in society. We have a dedicated team working on screening and prevention and our Board is fully committed to making a difference as part of our wider ambition to be a Centre of Excellence for the people we serve. We welcome visitors and critical friends who can help us ‘Close the Gap’.
Pledged on December 2018
East London Foundation Trust
Faculty of Public Health
Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
We are excited to join the new ‘Equally Well’ collaborative. This is a great opportunity to learn with and from others about how we can best deliver high quality holistic care for our patients.
Pledged in September 2018
Sarah Wilding, Deputy Chief Nurse said: “We are excited to join the new ‘Equally Well’ collaborative which aims to support the physical health of people with a mental illness. We know that many of the patients we serve have both mental and physical health needs, and this is a great opportunity to learn with and from others how best we can support the Mind & Body agenda and deliver the highest quality holistic care for our patients.”
At Hafal we pledge to deliver our Let’s Get Physical! health programme across the 22 counties of Wales over the coming year with the aim of improving the physical health outcomes for people with a serious mental illness and their carers. This will involve:
running two Let’s Get Physical! days – on in North Wales, one in South Wales – giving participants the opportunity to try out a number of sports and activities and receive information and advice from a number of key agencies on maintaining and improving their physical health
providing a range of information on improving physical health via our publications, websites, social media and our dedicated Let’s Get Physical!
working with our clients to ensure that the physical health section of their care plans includes ambitious but realistic goals for their physical health
providing physical health taster activities at our North Wales and South Wales Members’ days
promoting physical health at our 100+ projects across Wales.
Pledged on the September 2018
Alun Thomas, Hafal Chief Executive, said: “We fully support Equally Well in ensuring people with a mental illness and their carers have an equal right to good health and effective health care. As a Member-led charity we are fully aware of the physical health inequalities faced by people affected by mental illness. We also know from experience that improving physical health can be a key part of recovery from a mental illness, and essential to achieving a better quality of life. We will continue to fight for better physical health care and support for our Members, and to ensure that care plans comprehensively deal with physical health.”
Health Education England remains committed to ensuring that the workforce is trained to meet both the mental and physical health needs of our patients. “Stepping Forward to 2020/21” committed us to expanding the mental health workforce to meet the increased needs of people with mental health issues. As part of this we remain committed to ensuring this workforce can care for both physical and mental health needs of patients.
The dual focus on mental and physical health from Equally Well represents a new way of working and at Health Education England we have set up a new workstream specifically focused on new roles and new ways of working – the inclusion of mental and physical health together will be a key focus as we move into the future.
Pledged on September 2018
Lisa Bayliss-Pratt said: “My desire is that we move to a place where we care for the person rather than the illness and needs are met by one service. I’m therefore delighted to support Equally Well UKs ambitious charter”
The Health Innovation Network is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) for south London, one of 15 AHSNs across England. Our mission is to “speed up the best in health and care, together” in order to improve patient outcomes and healthcare efficiency. Working with our partners, we identify evidence-based innovations, and support health and care organisations to adapt and adopt these, enabling tangible benefits from improved care.
All our clinical themes: Diabetes and Stroke Prevention, Musculoskeletal, Healthy Ageing and Mental Health and Patient Safety, have committed to ensuring that their work improves outcomes for all, including those with mental illness. Our focus this year is on improving the detection of Atrial Fibrillation in people with serious mental illness. We are also committed to introducing providers and commissioners to promising digital solutions, and evaluating their impact.
As a member of the national AHSN Network we are able to work with colleagues across England to promote the adoption of evidenced based solutions that improve the lives of people with serious mental illness. The Health Innovation Network will actively encourage all AHSNs to sign the Equally Well Charter.
Pledged on the 6 December 2018
Health Innovation Network said: “Health Innovation Network: Speeding up the best in health and care, together, helping to improve the lives of people with serious mental illness.”
The Equally Well network presents a valuable opportunity to bring together our partners’ collective strengths to help make whole person care a reality for our patients and local population.
Pledged in September 2018
Jo Haworth said “At King’s we are committed to making ‘whole person’ care a reality – and that means addressing both physical and mental ill-health in our patients and local population. The Equally Well network presents a valuable opportunity to bring together our partners’ collective strengths to help shape one of the highest impact, highest value, and most meaningful changes in healthcare, and most importantly, improve health outcomes for our patients.”
We are committed to joining up mental and physical healthcare, training and research to improve health outcomes for our patients. Equally Well provides a fantastic platform to do this.
Pledged in September 2018
Jill Lockett, Director of Performance and Delivery said: “At King’s we are committed to making ‘whole person’ care a reality – and that means addressing both physical and mental ill-health in our patients and local population. The Equally Well network presents a valuable opportunity to bring together our partners’ collective strengths to help shape one of the highest impact, highest value, and most meaningful changes in healthcare, and most importantly, improve health outcomes for our patients.”