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About us

Changing lives - our strategy

About us

Changing lives - our strategy

About us

Changing lives - our strategy

About us

Changing lives - our strategy

Changing Lives

Our strategy is named ‘Changing Lives’ because everything we do is to help people improve their lives. We know this is what matters to our service users, carers, families, local communities and our passionate staff.  

To achieve this we are focused on the quality of our services, but we cannot do this alone. We need to work in partnership with people and communities; make the trust a great place to work to attract and retain the very best people; maximise our ability to innovate; and deliver best value from all of our assets and resources.

Changing Lives strategy documents


Our Changing Lives films

Launched in January 2019, our Changing Lives films set out our strategy and follow the journeys of five inspirational service users, Cassie, Kay, Micah, David and Anthony, and their clinicians. See Micah's story here or visit our YouTube channel to see all the Changing Lives films.

As a large, diverse mental health trust providing local and national services, we aim to make a difference to lives by seeking excellence in all areas of mental health and wellbeing: prevention, care, recovery, education and research. 

Our Changing Lives strategy sets out five strategic aims to steer our work: 

  1. Quality: we will get the basics right in every contact and keep improving what matters to service users
  2. Partnership: we will work together with service users, their support networks and whole populations to realise their potential
  3. A great place to work: we will value, support and develop our managers and staff
  4. Innovation: we will strive to be at the forefront of what is possible, exploiting our unique strengths in research and development, with everyone involved and learning
  5. Value: we will make the best use of our assets, resources, relationships and reputation to support the best quality outcomes 

One fundamental shift that we want to make is to change the relationship with service users, carers and families at all levels. We have already made strong progress but we need to support both professionals and service users to take different roles and approaches that will help people change their lives. Our well-established five commitments to build trusting, mutual relationships set us on good course for this.

The Changing Lives strategy builds on our direction of travel, evolving from our previous strategy, but with stronger emphasis on consistent quality, continuous improvement and partnership in its different forms. The strategy is aligned with a wide range of partners including:

  • clinical commissioning groups
  • local authorities
  • sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs)
  • South London Mental Health and Community Partnership (SLP)
  • Healthy London Partnership
  • Maudsley Charity
  • Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London

It will engage an increasingly wide range of partners such as schools, the housing sector, employers, the police, voluntary sector, community and faith groups.

We will work with service users, staff and partners to consider the strategy, what it means for them and their contribution to implementing the strategy.  

Implementation will have a strong emphasis on quality as our lead aim. Our Improvement Plan from autumn 2018 to spring 2019 will bring together multiple strands and kick-start progress. We will align our strategy with our operating plan for financial year 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 by working closely with our clinical teams, borough and community partners and the IoPPN.  

We are immensely grateful to our staff, service users and stakeholders for their insights in steering the direction of the trust.

Everything we do is to improve the lives of the people and communities we serve and to promote mental health and wellbeing for all - locally, nationally and internationally.
Seeking excellence in all mental health and wellbeing: prevention, care, recovery, education and research.
  1. All patients will have access to the right care at the right time in the most appropriate setting
  2. Within three years, we will routinely involve service users and carers in all aspects of service design, improvement and governance; and all aspects of planning and delivery of each individual’s care
  3. Over the next three years, we will enable staff to experience improved satisfaction and joy at work
  4. We will reduce violence by 50% over three years with the aim of reducing all types of restrictive practices

We are committed to building trusting, mutual relationships with each other and with service users. Our commitments were developed with staff and checked with service users. They are:

  1. I will be caring, kind and polite
  2. I will be prompt and value your time              
  3. I will take time to listen to you                        
  4. I will be honest and direct with you
  5. I will do what I say I am going to do

We will get the basics right in every contact and keep improving what matters to service users

Our ambitions
As an organisation, our focus has to be on delivering the best possible care for everyone who comes into contact with our services, on every day and on every site – safe, caring and effective. We must provide consistency in the quality of care. 

We will achieve the best possible outcomes and experience for service users through a focus on leadership, the fundamental standards of care, continuous quality improvement and developing new models of care. We are developing a culture with quality at its heart, where everyone has a mind set for continuous improvement and focuses on outcomes that matter to people who use our services and their carers, families and friends.  

We are improving our acute care pathway. In particular, we are working to reduce the level of unwarranted variation in the quality of care across our acute wards and psychiatric intensive care (PICU) services. A key success factor will be improving and sustaining better management of flow through the acute care pathway from community right through to in-patients. 

Two years ago, we committed to becoming an organisation where quality improvement (QI) is what we are about and at the heart of everything we do through our partnership with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). QI is about working continuously to improve the care and treatment we offer by supporting a culture of constant curiosity about how to improve and the development of skills at all levels to think differently, be innovative and take a systematic approach to improving quality using the IHI ‘model for improvement’ to make changes, spread best practice and measure how we are doing. Now, QI is becoming strongly embedded across the trust as core to how we work and executive and board leadership is highly visible. 

Our initiatives
  • Leadership for quality
  • Fundamental standards of care – priority areas for improvement across the organisation
  • Fundamental standards of care – acute care pathway services
  • Quality improvement
  • New models of care

We will work together with service users, their support networks and whole populations to realise their potential

Our ambitions

We want to make a step change in working collaboratively with service users, carers and families. We will work together with people to plan care, to understand them and their carers, to maximise their control, and bring together services to achieve the outcomes important to them. 

We will support people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to more effectively look after themselves and make informed decisions about their own health and well-being. We recognise adopting person-centred care as ‘business as usual’ requires fundamental changes to how services are delivered and to roles – not only those of health care professionals, but of service users too – and the relationships between service users, professionals and teams. Staff, service users and carers need to recognise that each play a vital role in the wellbeing of the person needing our help and the power imbalance between the three parties needs to be acknowledged and addressed. Genuine co-production will mean that people’s cultural needs will be recognised and met because their assets, needs and wants will be at the heart of what we develop to support them when they have mental health difficulties. 

We are working with other organisations to deliver joined up care pathways, for example through the South London Mental Health and Community Partnership, the Lambeth Alliance and work with other boroughs. 

Our combined clinical and academic expertise and strength of partnership working means we are in an excellent position to develop leading edge approaches to population health management. We will make better use of routine information to understand our populations and their mental health, so that working with our commissioners, we can plan and design services more effectively and efficiently. We will identify those groups of people who are at risk of adverse health and well-being outcomes and use advanced analytics to predict which individuals are most likely to benefit from different interventions, and then ensure that they are offered services that best meet their needs – constantly looking to lower risk. We will routinely identify missed elements of evidence based care in our pathways of care and ensure that commissioners and partners are informed and work together so gaps are filled.  We will enable service users to contribute extra information to allow for more holistic solutions to their needs. These solutions will be co-produced with service users and local partners such as education, community safety, police, leisure, transport, employers, housing and primary care. We will use anonymised information to ensure that we are consistently addressing the inequalities that are faced by many groups. 

Through this, working collaboratively with our local partners, we will better focus on prevention, access, early intervention and recovery to improve our reach and impact on people’s lives. To drive primary prevention, we will work with a wide range of partners – schools, the police, local government and housing – developing and sharing the evidence about what works and helping educate people about mental health. We will provide joined up care, close to home and focus on key outcomes that matter to local people.  

Embracing partnership working and forging local connections, relationships and partnerships will help develop a collaborative movement to improve life opportunities.    

This will build on our existing work in Lambeth where resources have been pooled to prevent long in-patient stays and for older adults in Croydon. 

The foundation for all our work is our commitment and success in developing productive strategic partnerships – with our four boroughs, CCGs, South London Partnership, Lambeth Alliance, King’s Health Partners (AHSC), Health Innovation Network (AHSN), Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, Maudsley Charity and others.  

Our initiatives
  • Work in partnership with people who use our services, their carers, families and friends, and members of local communities
  • Partnerships to help local communities realise their potential, including using leading edge population health management approaches
  • A joined-up approach to mind and body and physical healthcare
  • Strategic partnerships

We will value, support and develop our managers and staff

Our ambitions
The quality of care that service users receive depends first and foremost on the skill and dedication of our staff. We know that staff who are engaged, happy and supported at work provide the best care. Our passionate staff do a difficult job, often in challenging circumstances and there is more we can do to improve their experience, satisfaction and joy at work and equip them to deliver quality care. This will come from listening to their views and valuing their contribution as well as offering opportunities to develop new skills and career progression as part of their continuous development, and investing in staff wellbeing. Making the trust a great place to work will help us continue to attract, recruit and retain the very best people. 

Our initiatives
  • A new recruitment and retention strategy with increased investment
  • Step change in training, education and development opportunities
  • Leadership development and organisational development, including investment in quality improvement
  • A comprehensive nursing development programme
  • Improve change management
  • Enhance our health and well-being strategy
  • Develop our Freedom to Speak Up structure
  • Develop our equalities strategy, with a particular focus on black and minority ethnic (BME) staff
  • Staff communications and recognition

Striving to be at the forefront of what is possible, exploiting our unique strengths in research and development, with everyone involved and learning

Our ambitions

We will maximise benefit to service users and the local community from our research and development by making it a routine, core part of clinical activities across the organisation - in all professional groups and teams across our geography. We will build on our unique breadth and depth of research and clinical care; many clinical areas already have strong research programmes which inform local, national and international practice. Leading edge big data and digital approaches will allow us to better identify people at risk, spot potential problems, develop new interventions, deliver support and improve care. 

We will answer key questions in clinical practice and population health, informing our work in the trust and that of mental health practitioners across the globe. We will continue to undertake research and generate evidence that will lead to ground-breaking discoveries. We will introduce new practices, refined and evaluated through our close clinical academic partnerships to establish evidence-based practice. Our care pathways will be underpinned by research and evidence supporting the highest possible standards of care. We will increase the number of staff involved in research by encouraging and supporting all staff to get involved and take more active roles in leading research and take pride in being part of a research active organisation. 

Quality improvement approaches will be used to put evidence-based practice into wider use and to become a true learning organisation and system.  Our approach to education and training will support staff to get involved in both research and quality improvement which will help to further develop an ethos of innovation as we develop our workforce and our clinical services. 

The Maudsley Charity is one of the larger hospital charities and able to make a significant difference to innovation in the trust. It works closely with our staff to generate ideas that will make a difference to care, treatment and service innovation.  

As a trust, our relationship with academic mental health and the world leading reputation of the Maudsley brand in research and innovation is perhaps what we are most known for. As such leaders for mental health, we will use the insight and our voice to improve care nationally and internationally and tackle stigma and discrimination. 

Our initiatives
  • Progress our research and development strategy - involve more teams and service users and carers, support staff to be research active, improve recruitment of research participants and research communication, ensure the highest scientific and ethical standards and shape national best practice guidance
  • Embed quality improvement
  • Develop the SLaM-IoPPN Centre for Translational Informatics
  • Create a new Centre for Young People’s Mental Health
  • Develop our education and training strategy and launch Maudsley Learning

Making the best use of our assets, resources, relationships and reputation to support the best quality outcomes

Our ambitions
We will ensure our care services and support services provide the best possible value by focusing on the outcomes we achieve for the resources invested. Being financially sustainable and governed to the highest possible standards is a core focus with a strong interface between performance, finance and quality. We will manage our costs effectively so we can re-invest in our people, innovation, research and training. Reducing clinical variation will provide better value. Commercial ventures will allow us to reinvest in staff development, innovation and local services at a time when these budgets are under pressure. Staff will be able to make the best use of information with reliable IT infrastructure and applications and data to support quality improvement and innovation. Our staff and service users will benefit from being in places we are proud of. 

Our initiatives
  • Continue to develop our leadership and governance
  • Take forward our five-year financial strategy
  • Commercial development
  • Deliver improvements to the quality of our estates and facilities
  • Progress on getting the IT basics in place and implementing our digital strategy, working towards becoming a global digital exemplar