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"
At NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG we are committed to working with our system partners to improve all aspects of health and wellbeing for our whole population. This includes a key focus on both the physical and mental health of those with mental health conditions. Those living with severe mental illness are at greater risk of poor physical health and preventable conditions which has an impact on life expectancy. As part of our ongoing mental health community transformation work, we are addressing these inequalities, providing better access and quality of care to those with severe mental illness. We are delighted to join the Equally Well UK collaborative and believe our membership will be invaluable.
Cath Byford, Chief Nurse, NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG
There is a significant disconnect between physical and mental health resources in our society which has a direct impact on people’s health and wellbeing. I am delighted to adopt the Equally Well Charter so we can work together to address this divide and better serve our communities in Kirklees.
Michelle Cross, Service Director - Mental Health and Learning Disability, Local Integrated Partnerships within Kirklees Council
'No-one with mental illness should be at a disadvantage when it comes to physical health. We are delighted to be working with like-minded organisations to tackle this issue and effect positive change.'
Joanna Forster Adams, Chief Operating Officer, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Organisations that have signed up to Equally Well UK so far by signing the Charter:
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.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists will use all it’s influence and do all in it’s power to reduce the lost years for those with mental illness and to improve physical health outcomes for all those with mental ill health.
Pledged 11 September 2018
Adrian James said: “Nobody with a mental illness should have their life expectancy shortened because their physical health is overlooked. The Royal College of Psychiatrists is pleased to sign the Charter for Equal Health, demonstrating our commitment to the action required so that people with a mental illness get the help, support and guidance they need for their physical health. As a part of Equally Well UK, we look forward to working alongside the other organisations to tackle this disgraceful situation.”
Mental health has been a key focus for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in 2017 as we examine how pharmacy, as the third largest health profession, can support people with mental health problems. Working with the pharmacy profession, patient groups and other health professional bodies, our report published in June made a number of recommendations about how pharmacists can be better utilised as part of the multidisciplinary team to improve the care of people with mental health problems. We will continue working with our members and others across health and care to take forward this important agenda.
You can find out more about the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s work on mental health here.
Pledged on 11 September 2018
Sandra Gidley, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: “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.”
In Sheffield, key stakeholders are working together (through the Physical Health Implementation Group – PHIG) to look creatively at how we can support people living with severe mental illness, learning disabilities, and autistic spectrum condition to have the best possible physical health. Our partnership includes NHS organisations, the local authority, and local community sector organisations.
These are three very different groups of people, but they share challenges in terms of physical health and disparity in health outcomes which are partly due to physical health needs being overlooked. For too many people this means living for many years with a long-term physical health condition and with reduced quality of life, as well as on average a dramatically reduced life expectancy.
Our vision for Sheffield is that people living with severe mental illness, learning disabilities and autistic spectrum condition will live longer and healthier lives, because of improvements in their physical health and reduction (or early identification) of avoidable physical illness.
Our (working) strategy (2019-2022) outlines our shared commitments (and the high level action plan that underpins it) that will help the city to achieve these outcomes. These will be enacted through organisations and decision making bodies in the city identifying and embedding opportunities for improving the physical health of people living with these conditions, in their decisions, activities, strategies, and policies. Engagement has been an important part of progressing the priority actions and refining the cross organisational strategy and the PHIG will continue to engage with people with lived experience, their families and stakeholder/advocacy organisations.
Sheffield NHS CCG takes a lead role in driving and supporting this work, chairing the PHIG and providing project management support to the implementation of the Strategy. SCCG also takes a lead role in a number of key tasks within the strategy, including by increasing the number of people accessing Annual Physical Health Checks (with follow up interventions where needed); ensuring that people with lived experience are involved in developing physical health improvement priorities and activity; embedding physical health for people living with these conditions in key citywide health and wellbeing strategies, initiatives and commissioning activity.
We embrace the opportunity the Equally Well initiative provides to work in partnership to improve the quality of life and life expectancy for people in our communities with mental illness.
Pledged in September 2018
Dr Matthew Patrick, CEO said: “As a trust, our aim is to work with people with mental illness and support them to change their lives for the better. We recognise the important role physical health plays in achieving this. We embrace the opportunity the Equally Well initiative provides to work in partnership with other organisations to improve the quality of life and life expectancy for people in our communities with mental illness.”
Sportspark UEA pledges to continually improve physical health support for people with a mental illness through a number of different initiatives aiding all students and community users. All day, every day for the community.
Pledged as a supporter in February 2020
Natalie Jennings, Deputy Director of Nursing and Physical Healthcare at St Andrew’s, said: “St Andrew’s is delighted to be part of Equally Well and to contribute to this co-ordinated action towards improving the life expectancy and physical health of people with long term mental health conditions. Within the Charity we are striving towards an equal focus on physical and mental health at every level. We have signed the Charter to show our organisational pledge to this shared goal.”
Suffolk User Forum is a service user led mental health charity and proud to be part of the Equally Well initiative. We are committed to seeing people as a whole and believe that people must always be seen as more than mental health labels. Physical and mental health must be given equal respect and attention. We offer peer support that empowers people to have a voice to address their physical health needs. We will continue to embrace coproduction and to encourage services to respond to people’s individual needs; ensuring they receive an all-inclusive service. We will continue to listen to everyone and to make sure their voices are heard. We will play our part in ensuring that service user feedback leads to better services now and in the future.
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
We pledge to make available on an ongoing basis a tiered programme of physical health training to improve the competence and confidence of our clinical staff. This will include level one physical health skills and MEWS refresher training for our nursing and health care assistants through to more advanced training delivered by the local university. This training will help to support improved physical health monitoring through our physical health clinics as well as mental health assessments in both our wards and community services. We also pledge to share our mental and physical health expertise with primary care colleagues to help them deliver physical health interventions for people with mental illness to reduce the mortality inequality gap in this population.
Pledged September 2018
Jonathan Warren, Acting Chief Executive said: “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.”
Psychological assessment and formulation uniquely uses a biopsychosocial approach to consider the whole person including both physical and mental health. The British Psychological Society advocates that all health and social care practitioners practise individualised care and consider a person holistically as so often physical and mental health are intrinsically linked. For example, the Society has produced a position paper on dementia and is working on a paper regarding autism. These advocate that people with dementia and people with autism receive equal treatment of co-occurring conditions. These messages have been and will continue to be shared with MPs commissioners and wider stakeholders.
Pledged September 2018
Chief executive, Sarb Bajwa said: “The British Psychological Society are determined to address inequity by working collaboratively with other health professions in raising standards and training to ensure that those living with mental illness can access the healthcare they need.”
Through our research and policy analysis, and our work with individuals and organisations across the health and care system, The King’s Fund will promote greater understanding of how the physical health needs of people living with a mental illness can be met more effectively, and will communicate the urgent need to close this inequality.
People with mental health conditions die on average 10-20 years earlier than those without, with smoking the single largest contributor to this reduced life expectancy. The Mental Health and Smoking Partnership is working towards the long-term goal of ending this inequality. There is no single measure that will transform outcomes but a whole systems approach is needed that involves staff across mental health, physical health and social care, and empowers individuals to realise their goals of being smokefree. The Partnership is proud to bring its network and expertise to support Equally Well.