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Lambeth living well Hub

Innovation Unit

Client: Lambeth Clinical Commissioning group & Lambeth Council

Role: Design lead 

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"I want to get back into work. I need to be challenged. It's not the money, but helping others that gives me the satisfaction. It will help me as much as them. A job also gives you structure, it helps you find friends, be part of a system." 

Working together to live well in Lambeth  

Innovation Unit has been part of developing The Living Well Network from the very beginning. The Living Well Hub is the “front door” to mental health services, delivered by a multidisciplinary team from primary and secondary care and the voluntary sector. It is for everyone that could use some support around their mental health and any of the practical, emotional and social issues that come with it. There are no thresholds or eligibility criteria. The Hub is part of The Lambeth Living Well Collaborative, a coalition of local stakeholders (service users, carers, voluntary sector providers, primary care, social care, commissioners and secondary care), who want to radically change the mental health system. 

During this specific piece of work, we worked with them to build a culture of co-production at the heart of the service, so that they can keep evolving around the ever changing needs and aspirations of the people they're supporting.



The challenge 


In Lambeth, like many other places, there was no support available for any of the practical and social problems that affect mental health, like housing, debt and social exclusion. The average waiting time for to get help is at least a month, while people who reach out often need help right now. And then support is only there for people with the highest needs, leaving others who still have low level needs to spiral down and hit rock bottom before receiving help. Not supporting people at an early stage, also lead to an enormous pressure on the secondary system. 

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The journey

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We trained peer researchers (people who have used the service themselves) to go out and do ethnographies with clients. They capture people's journey and experiences before, during and after using the Hub, and talk to their Hub worker to understand the whole picture. 

These stories are brought to the Labs; monthly workshops where staff and clients come together to continuously reflect on people's experience, to understand what is going well and what can be improved. 

Through rapid idea generation they co-design new solutions that are then prototyped over the next month, reviewed in the next Lab and implemented in the service. 


The impact 

Since opening the Living Well Hub has made an enormous impact:

  • 470 people are supported by the Hub each month, many of who wouldn't have had any support.

  • There has been a 75% reduction in waiting times for support in secondary care, from 1 month to 1 week. 

  • There is a 25% reduction in referrals to secondary care teams. 

By embedding a model of co-production they can continue their amazing work and increase their positive impact on the residents of Lambeth. 

"The Hub helped me all the way through, helped me deal with the challenges I had to face. They helped me find my own place to live, so I wouldn't have to share with anyone. It's different from other services. The first time I came. in, people smiled at me! They calmed me down. When you come through the door, you can leave your problems behind. There are not many places like that! They take the time to listen to you. They saw the real me." Living Well Hub client

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