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PARTNERS2 is a five year NIHR programme grant awarded to Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust in conjunction with the Dept of Primary Care at the University of Birmingham.

The programme was originally developed by our friend and colleague Professor Helen Lester, who sadly passed away in 2013. Helen was passionate about developing collaborative care and asked Professor Max Birchwood to assume the role of Chief Investigator to ensure its completion. Helen and Max worked on many projects together and she worked tirelessly to ensure the safe transition of the PARTNERS2 project before her death. Helen also asked Dr Liz England, who had worked with her at the University of Birmingham for ten years to take over the Principle Investigator role for the Birmingham site.

PARTNERS2 aims to enable primary care and community based mental health services to work more closely together and to develop an evidenced based model of care to support individuals with severe mental illness in primary care with secondary care support. It has the potential for large impact on the care of people with severe mental illness. PARTNERS2 focuses on the 70% of adult service users with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder who are seen in primary care alone.

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