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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Mental health in the Vanguards

The NHS Five Year Forward View launched a series of new models of care that are now being tested in selected sites across the country. There are 50 vanguard sites in England, each examining different ways of improving and integrating services in their local area. Once evaluated, the most successful models will act as a blueprint for other parts of the NHS.


Why we’re doing this project

There is a compelling case for improving the connection between mental health services and other parts of the health and care system, and the vanguard sites represent an important opportunity to do so. Developing more integrated approaches towards mental health will need to be a key focus for vanguard sites if they are to achieve their goals of improving the quality and efficiency of care.


What we’re doing

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is working in partnership with the King’s Fund to understand the extent to which opportunities for mental and physical health integration are being realised in the vanguard sites.

Our work in this area has three main components:

  1. Establishing what successful integration of mental health in vanguard sites could look like, through consultation with service users, carers, clinicians and other stakeholder groups
  2. Working with local system leaders to examine the degree to which integration is successfully taking place in vanguard sites and share case studies of sites that have achieved this
  3. Identifying the main barriers to successful integration and developing advice on how these can be overcome.


Read our report

The main report from our research has now been published. Through our work we hope to inform policy-making and practice and support the development of new models of care both locally and nationally.

Mental health and new models of care

Download Mental health and new models of care – Lessons from the vanguards (PDF)

Read the President's Blog: The New Model Armies


Main contacts

If you have any examples of integrated practice in your vanguard site, or if you would like more information, please get in touch:



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