Recovery and Outcomes

For the past 6 years, Rethink Mental Illness has been commissioned by NHS England and Improvement to organise and facilitate a national network of involvement groups for people in adult medium and low secure services called the Recovery and Outcomes Network. As a result of the exciting changes to the way that adult secure services are commissioned and delivered, the Recovery and Outcomes Network is changing and we will have more news about this in the Autumn of 2021.

All adult secure mental health services are now part of 15 NHS-led Provider Collaboratives, which are committed to making sure that involvement and co-production is a key part of how they develop and deliver their services, to make sure people in them have the best possible outcomes. You can learn more about NHS-led Provider Collaboratives on the NHS England and Improvement website here.


Recovery and outcomes groups

Recovery and Outcomes Groups, which met every few months in 10 areas across England, brought together people living in, working in and commissioning adult low and medium secure mental health services to ensure that people are as involved as possible in influencing local and national practice and the way services are commissioned and provided. In doing so, the people who attend the Recovery and Outcomes Groups were also supported to achieve their personal recovery goals.

Every Recovery and Outcomes Group had an engaging agenda that included presentations by people living in services together with staff, and interactive discussions to maximise participation and involvement in key agenda items. In September/October 2019, for example, groups were invited to feedback on the draft ‘Managing a Healthy Weight’ Guidance, developed by the NHS England Adult Secure Clinical Reference Group. Please find the final feedback collated in our Managing a Healthy Weight in Secure Services report here.

At previous rounds of Recovery and Outcomes Groups participants also contributed to the following national developments within secure services:

  • new service specifications for adult medium and low secure services
  • development of Specialist Community Forensic Team pilots
  • development of new services for women
  • the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act
  • the NHS Long Term Plan

While Recovery and Outcomes Groups have been unable to meet in person as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been involved in two influential pieces of work which you can read more about below. 

Covid-19 Adult Secure Service User, Family and Carer Survey

In collaboration with NHS England and Improvement, we developed a survey to gather the views and experiences of people in adult secure services and their families and carers of COVID-19 and the first lockdown from March to June 2020.

We found out what is working well for service users, families and carers, what is not working so well and what improvements people would like to see during this time. We heard about the things that had happened as a consequence of COVID-19 that people would like to see continued in the future. We also asked people what else they’d like to tell us about their experiences during this time. We received responses to the survey from 368 people from high, medium and low and community forensic services.

This report provides an overview of the responses we received which we hope will support regional and local discussions across adult secure services, especially as part of their recovery planning and also in relation to the impact of any future lockdowns.

Click here to download the report


A Guide to Involvement and Co-production for Provider Collaboratives

We are shortly to publish a Guide to support all Provider Collaboratives in achieving their aim of making sure that involvement and co-production is at the heart of everything they do. We asked services users, families and carers and staff in secure services what their experiences were of being involved in care planning, on the ward, in their services, in their Provider Collaborative and nationally.

Through co-designed questionnaires we heard from over 1,500 people in total. Working collaboratively with the with the NHS England/Improvement National Specialised Commissioning (Adult Secure) Team and Mental Health Secure Care Programme and drawing on our experiences from running the Recovery and Outcomes Network, we have developed a comprehensive Guide that will be published in Autumn 2021. We would also like to thank the Adult Secure Provider Collaborative Clinical Forum and Adult Secure Clinical Reference Group for their guidance and support throughout the programme.

If you would like to be kept up-to-date about any future developments, please email to join our mailing list.



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