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"
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.”
Kingston University & St George’s, University of London
As a School of Nursing at Kingston University and St George’s University of London, we are committed to developing a curriculum for students which enables the emerging nursing workforce to be prepared and confident to address the physical health needs of people experiencing serious mental illness. We want to ensure nurses from across all fields can work collaboratively with service users, carers and other health and social care professionals to improve both physical and mental health needs. We will continue to strengthen our educational provision in this important area and share successes with others.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
is committed to ensuring that patients with long term mental health conditions
have access to high quality help and support for their physical health that
meets their individual needs, and gives them an equally well chance of enjoying
longer, healthier lives.
We will continue to work with our
services user to strive towards effective, accessible services that support
their physical wellbeing and we seek to find further ways to reduce health
inequalities for those with severe mental illness by sharing good practice
with our buddy Trust Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and
others in this network.
Cathy Ellis, chair of LPT said: “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 local communities. We are striving to create high quality, compassionate care and wellbeing for all, by improving the accessibility of our services for anyone experiencing mental health problems, and working closely with them to improve their physical wellbeing with individualised care plans. Sharing best practice in this area is an important part of our commitment, so that together we can ensure anyone with severe mental illness can live a longer and healthier life.”
Look Ahead support 2,500+ people with mental health needs annually across our 113 mental health, learning disability, homelessness and young people’s services. We work hard to address the physical health inequalities faced by all our customers, particularly those with mental health needs, and have a structured approach to promoting physical wellbeing and proactively identifying and addressing long term conditions. In addition to providing safe, high quality supported accommodation, delivered by knowledgeable well-trained staff, we are committed to:
Making the physical wellbeing of our customers a senior management priority through effectively reporting physical health outcomes through our governance structures. This will enable us to respond to emerging trends in health needs locally and at an organisational level.
Embedding our MindBodyMatters health promotion programme across all services. The programme covers key health issues identified in Department of Health guidance for Mental Health Nurses, and include factsheets and workbook to be used to enhance customer understanding and take action to improve their physical health.
Delivering our STOMP action plan, ensuring staff are equipped to discuss medication impact with service users and advocate to clinicians to address medication that is have a negative impact on wellbeing.
Targeting 100% of customers to have physical health checks with their GP on an annual basis.
Pledged in September 2018
Chris Hampson, Chief Executive said: “I have seen the health inequalities faced by mental health customers and recognise our role as a provider to improve this situation. We are committed to innovative, remedial interventions and working together to make real changes.”
The Mental Elf pledge to Equally Well UK
The mission of the Mental Elf is to close the gap between research and practice. On average it takes 17 years for a new reliable piece of research to become common practice at the frontline of NHS care. The delays are caused by a lack of awareness of the evidence, clinicians not accepting it, or not being able to apply it to their patients. They are also sometimes caused by a lack of agreement from patients themselves, who may struggle to make lifestyle changes or cope with new treatments. It’s an unhappy coincidence that 17 years is also the average reduction in life-expectancy for someone living with a severe mental illness. I will do everything that I can as a member of #EquallyWellUK to ensure that high quality research reaches the people who need it to improve the physical health of those who live with mental illness.
During 2018 and 2019, the Mental Health Foundation is leading a one-year pilot project in Northern Ireland funded by DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) to coproduce an evidenced-based exercise programme that maximises acceptability and participation amongst people with psycho-social disabilities. We are working with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, and our Partners are the South Eastern Recovery College and Northern Recovery College. Peer researchers are being recruited through the Partners and receiving accredited training through Queen’s University Belfast. As members of the research team, the research methodology and programme design and delivery is being designed by the peer researchers.
MHF is also a member of the new ‘Closing the Gap’ network, which will focus on improving physical health and reducing health inequalities for people with severe mental illness. This innovative mental health network, announced on September 6th 2018, is led by York University and is one of eight networks funded by UK Research and Innovation. It is funded for four years and will support new research and collaboration in this area. A Cross-disciplinary collective of researchers will be working in collaboration with organisations, which also include Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust, The Equality Trust, Keele University, Natural England, Wildlife Trust and Groundwork Trust. Over the next four years the network will grow to involve other universities and organisations. At the centre of the network will be partnerships with people with lived experience of mental ill health.
In Scotland, the MHF co-manages See Me, Scotland’s Programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination. See Me is adopting a human rights-based approach to addressing stigma, which is partly focused on health and social care, recognising that people with mental health problems face discrimination in relation to accessing health improvement activities and that stigma creates a significant barrier to equal access to healthcare.
Pledged September 2018
Isabella Goldie, Director of Development and Delivery said: “The fact that people with severe mental health problems are on average likely to die 15-20 years prematurely – largely from preventable physical health problems – is an egregious and longstanding health inequality, which should long ago have become a thing of the past.
For Equally Well to realise its aim, we all – national and local politicians, policy makers, health and social care professionals, communities and the voluntary sector – need to be equally ambitious and equally hopeful for the physical health and wellbeing, the quality of life and life expectancy, of people with severe mental illness.
As all members of Equally Well know, this requires a cultural shift that places people with lived experience of severe mental illness at the centre of their care, informed by the principles of prevention, early intervention and stigma reduction. These approaches must be embedded within and across local systems so that services can identify at the earliest point that support is needed and enable people to live healthier lives.
The Mental Health Foundation is proud to join a movement that seeks to right the injustice of excess premature mortality, and the years of morbidity that accompany this, and will play its part in helping to bring this about”.
Mental Health Network – NHS Confederation
Mental Health Nurses Association
Unite the union/Mental Health Nurses Association pledges to dedicate one of its Mental Health Nursing journals to Equally Well, guest edited by Andy Bell. This journal will be made freely available so anyone can access it. This will ensure that the important messages from Equally Well are shared with as many mental health nurses as possible.
Pledged on September 2018
Dave Munday, Lead professional officer (mental health), Unite the union/Mental Health Nurses Association said: “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.“
Mental Health Together is the engagement service in Derbyshire for people living with a mental health condition and those who care for them. We are funded by Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Derbyshire County Council to ensure that the voices of experts with lived experience feed into decision making about mental health services and social care.
We are currently undertaking a special project exploring the barriers to physical wellbeing for people living with a severe mental illness. At the heart of this project is a survey seeking to understand how people feel about their physical health and what barriers they experience in trying to stay physically as well as mentally well. We have a worker dedicated to this project to ensure that as many people with severe mental illness as possible have a chance to express their views and experience.
We pledge to continue putting people with severe mental illness at the heart of this project in Derbyshire, to explore the issues presented to us thoroughly and to present the voices of experience in ways which can positively influence future service provision. With the permission of our funders (Health Education England) we will share our findings with Equally Well UK at the relevant time.
At Mind, we’re working to ensure everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect. But right now, many of us who have mental health problems are being failed by a system that often overlooks our physical health problems. The result is that many people with mental health problems die younger from preventable physical health problems. We’re aiming to address this through our campaigning and influencing work, to ensure that GPs and other health professionals prioritise the physical health of people with mental health problems. We’re engaging with people with experience of both mental and physical health problems, to understand the challenges they face, and working with mental health services, commissioners and other key stakeholders to address these issues and champion holistic healthcare.
Pledged September 2018
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “Mind is proud to be a part of Equally Well – a crucial initiative that we hope will make a huge difference to the experiences of people with mental health problems. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to work as part of this collaborative to address the shocking mortality gap for people with mental health problems, and to amplify the voices of those of us who too often go unheard.”
National Survivor and User Network
NAViGO Health and Social Care CIC – Yorkshire & Humber network
Since 2014 NAViGO has provided annual physical health checks to those with severe mental illness via their multi award winning Wellbeing Health Improvement service (WHISe). We will continue to provide these health checks and work closely with our primary care partners to provide physical health screening and timely interventions or treatment in order to increase life expectancy. WHISe also provides a fully holistic and recovery focused service which facilitates physically active sessions, lifestyle education and healthy lifestyle empowering groups via their WHISe Choices programme. WHISe Choices provides a fully informative and educational service to help service users make a ‘WHISe Choice’ about their lifestyle, information around medications, their interactions, and make healthier choices with meals and increase activity levels. NAViGO pledge to continue to provide this service and its ongoing development with a recovery focused and service user centred approach in order to reduce the risk of developing long term health issues and promote a more healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.
Pledged September 2018
Anthony Ackroyd said: “Just because you have a mental illness does not mean you are immune from any physical health problem. See the whole person and not just the diagnosis.”
Professor Tim Kendall, national clinical director for mental health at NHS England said: “Improving the life expectancy of people with serious mental health issues needs concerted action from everyone. The launch of Equally Well UK is the perfect platform to raise awareness of this issue by bringing together people with serious mental illness, families and carers, health and care organisations and other partners from the wider sector. NHS England is proud to be one of the founding members and we look forward to seeing the momentum build in the months ahead.”
NHSImprovement pledge to Equally Well UK:
NHSImprovement is pleased to be working with Equally Well UK over the coming year, we will support Equally well by continuing to link and share our Closing the Gap national improvementwork. Equally Well UK will be introduced to our current cohort of Trusts involved within our Closing the Gap work as a tool to ensure sustainability and spread of outcomes from this work. Equally Well UK will provide a mechanism to support transformation within mental health services to address and improve the physical health of people with mental health conditions. We will continue to improve access to good physical healthcare and interventions utilising the variety of knowledge and expertise within Equally well UK.
Pledged September 2018
Glenn Westrop, Mental Health AHP Clinical Fellow said: “Improving the physical health of people with severe mental illness requires effort and belief from staff that peoples physical health can improve. We need to enable, advocate and work with patients (people) focussing on providing the right care, support and skills for people to live well and have meaningful lives. Supporting an individual’s mental health and physical health requires an holistic approach; many people have a part to play and only together can we address the multifaceted issues faced by individuals. Equally Well UK provides the vehicle to support this, working across boundaries which disrupt the ability to improve people’s physical health whilst avoiding wherever possible development of poor physical health and premature mortality in people with severe mental illnesses.”
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust pledge to work with our health and social care partners to help people with mental health conditions to access the right support to safeguard their physical health, in turn improving both their quality of life and their life expectancy.
Pledged in October 2020
Jonathan Warren, Chief Executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to support this important campaign, which aims to improve quality of life for people with mental health conditions by ensuring they receive the right help and support to look after their physical health.”
Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS
Foundation Trust is delighted to pledge its commitment to the Equally Well
Charter for Equal Health, and its dedication to ensuring that patients with long
term mental health conditions have access to high quality help and support for
their physical health.
The Trust will strive to ensure
that its services are accessible to anyone experiencing mental health
conditions, colleagues will continue to work with service users to improve
their physical wellbeing and to prevent, treat and manage physical health
problem, creating individual care plans to their needs.
Crishni Waring, Chair of Northamptonshire Healthcare, said: “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.”
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust are proud and excited to sign the Equally Well UK charter. We pledge to tackle the current health inequalities and work to improve the quality and life expectancy of people experiencing a serious mental illness. Working across boundaries and in collaboration, this membership will support joint learning and strengthen the ability to address the mortality gap.
PHE is committed to reducing the stark health inequalities facing people with severe and enduring mental illness. Our ambition is that everyone with a mental health problem achieves parity of health outcomes with the wider population particularly reaching the same life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. Realising this change is especially important for those facing the greatest barriers and who have to overcome the most disadvantages. PHE’s work in this area is focused on high impact areas where concerted action can make the most difference. This includes fulfilling our commitments from the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. We work collaboratively across the system to promote and support national and local action to reduce health inequalities, reduce risk factors for physical health problems, and promote recovery and inclusion for people with mental illness.
Pledged on September 2018
Lily Makurah, National Lead for Public Mental Health said: “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, and continues to support system wide action to reduce health and social inequalities and promote recovery and inclusion for people living with or recovering from mental illness so they are enabled to live well for longer in their local community.”
Rethink Mental Illness is committed to helping deliver a culture shift, across society and within our health services, so that the physical and mental health needs of an individual are seen as equally important.
“We will do this by empowering people who use our services to be leaders in their own care and ensuring that our workforce takes a whole, person centred approach to an individual’s health. We will also continue to champion equal health at a national policy level, with the voices of those with lived experience at the centre of our influencing work.”
Pledged on the 5 September 2018
Mark Winstanley, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness said: “For too long we have neglected the physical health needs of people living with mental illness. Resulting tragically in lives cut short. It is time to act and end this outdated health inequality.”
Royal College of General Practitioners
The Royal College of General Practitioners pledge to the Equally Well Charter:
The RCGP will support and promote Equally Well UK as a learning network to bring about a sustained and significant improvement in the physical health support offered to people with a mental health condition. General practice is where most people come into contact with health services and provides holistic, person-centred care often working in multidisciplinary teams with colleagues. Mental Health and Physical Activity & Lifestyle are two of RCGP’s clinical priorities and the College will provide clinical advice to support the vital work of Equally Well UK and positively contribute to reducing health inequalities in people with severe and enduring mental illness.
Pledged in September 2018
RCGP Chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: “The Royal College of General Practitioners is proud to be founding member of Equally Well UK, as GPs are usually the first point of contact with the NHS for people with mental or physical health issues. 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.”
The Royal College of Nursing is committed to improving the physical health of people with mental illness. It will push to ensure Mental health nurses play a pivotal role in improving the health outcomes of patients. The College will gather evidence to achieve this across all health settings, share examples of best nursing practice and campaign for safe, therapeutic staffing levels to meet patient demand.