Professor Max Birchwood and Professor Helen Lester (primary care) have recently secured an NIHR £2M grant for the following project:

Max Birchwood

PARTNERS2: development and pilot trial of primary care based collaborative care for people with serious mental illness

PARTNERS2 aims to help primary care and community based mental health services work more closely together. The project team think this could be achieved by developing a system of collaborative care based in GP surgeries where about 70% of adult service users are seen regularly by an experienced mental health worker who will act both as overall co-ordinator (supporting individuals to access other services and activities) and therapist. GPs, psychiatrists and service commissioners in Birmingham, Manchester and South Devon have agreed to work with the team to reshape services from 2013.

In addition, the group's research led service innovation ('Youthspace') has been shortlisted for one of the prestigious HSJ (health service journal) awards. The team find out in a ceremony later this month if they have won.