People with mental health conditions in the city are to benefit from £3m funding which will focus on their rehabilitation, through the Promoting Independence Project.

The project has been set up to empower people who are currently living in full-time residential or nursing care as a result of mental health conditions to make the move towards supported housing and independent living.

Those experiencing the effects of a serious mental health condition will be helped to have full and active lives whilst living in their own home. They will be supported to move towards independence, leading to improvements in their wellbeing and quality of life.

‘Promoting Independence’ has been made possible through the Accountable Care Partnership (ACP) which has enabled  joined up commissioning between Sheffield City Council, the Sheffield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC) plus the help of ‘Big Issue Invest’, a social investment company.

It will be delivered by a South Yorkshire Consortium made up of South Yorkshire Housing Association, a charity, ‘Together for Mental Wellbeing’ and Abbeyfield Grange Limited, all local mental health residential providers. This model has been chosen because it will allow the funding of this new service and mean that the same number of beds in residential and nursing care will still be funded as well.

Councillor George Lindars-Hammond, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “Everyone should have the opportunity to live as independently as possible and our role as a council is to put the right support and arrangements in place so that people can live how they want to live for the best quality of life. Our aim is for there to be better health and wellbeing across the city and to tackle inequalities so that the most vulnerable can overcome obstacles and achieve their potential.”

Jim Millns, Deputy Director of Mental Health Transformation at NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group added: “This project is an excellent example of organisations and services working together in the city to help people with mental health conditions. Improving mental health services is a priority for the city and this project is one example of how we are achieving this with our partners.”

Kevan Taylor, Chief Executive at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust and Chair of the Executive Delivery Group of the Sheffield Accountable Care Partnership said: “We know how important the link is between mental health and support to live in your own home, and this is a fantastic opportunity for us to improve the wellbeing of people across the city and help them live independently. Projects like this really do highlight the positive impact organisations can have working together as part of the Accountable Care Partnership.”

As part of the project people will be supported to identify their ambitions and goals for the future, helped to develop independent living skills, such as the ability to manage a tenancy while they’re living in residential or nursing care and supported to gain a qualification or follow a training or education programme that is relevant to their development needs and interests.

The service will not only support people to make the transition to greater independence but also support them for two years after their transition to supported or independent living.

Developed as a result of consultation with stakeholders, the project will run alongside existing services with no immediate changes to those services.

There will be consultation with those who currently use or have used residential mental health services to help shape the new service over the coming months.

Over the lifetime of the project the consortium will work with 113 people and it is anticipated that more than 70 people will be supported to move to greater independence.