mental health

Innovative partnership working and trust between health, social care and housing providers is crucial to delivering excellent services. Our new models of care in the community can reduce pressure on hospitals, address the challenges in both health and social care, promote independence, safety and wellbeing and enhance links with the community.

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Recovery Houses

Look Ahead provides five mental health crisis and recovery services across Tower Hamlets, Barnet, Enfield, Haringey (BEH) and Islington.

Our three Recovery Houses in BEH work in close partnership with BEH NHS Mental Health Trust to provide short-term accommodation for those experiencing crisis or needing additional support following hospital discharge.

Our team works closely with the NHS Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team (CRHTT), bed managers, Discharge Intervention Team (DIT) and Liaison Team.

Our Resettlement Worker works with the DIT, care coordinators and local authority housing departments to ensure that customers are safely discharged to more suitable accommodation. This relieves pressure on beds and reduces the need for expensive out-of-borough placements.

Effective partnership working with the CRHTT, who are responsible for medical intervention, promotes engagement with treatment plans.


In March 2018 we began delivery of the Islington Short-term Crisis Accommodation service, in partnership with Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. The service provides support for 12 individuals who stay at the service for up to two weeks, with an additional six weeks of aftercare as required.

Look Ahead are solution-focused and take an evidence-based approach. When something happens, they make suggestions as to what could be done to prevent it happening in the future. We work as a team – for me, that is the only way forward to have a well-integrated, collaborative way of working.”

Theo Bello
Assistant Clinical Director of Haringey Mental Health Services

A Crisis House bed costs £65,000
per year, while
an adult acute bed costs
94% of customers recommend
the service to others
Fewer than
7% of Recovery House
customers are re-admitted
to the service

Lambeth LIFT GP

The Look Ahead Integrated Fulfilment Team (LIFT) service provides medication support to customers in their own homes. From its inception in 2017, the service has reduced pressure on local GPs and hospitals and saved the NHS money by reducing the need for costly residential care and enabling people in need to live in the community.

Early in 2018 we expanded this service through merging with the local GP+ service. The new LIFT service provides an innovative new care coordination offer which targets individuals with a serious mental illness and multiple long-term health conditions.

The multi-agency LIFT GP team brings together the expertise of Specialist Support Workers and clinical support to work with people who have not previously been identified as requiring care coordination due to their lack of engagement with services.

Working directly with GPs, the service ensures that people with mental health needs are supported to live independently in the community with medication management for both their mental health and long-term conditions (for example diabetes). Staff undertake specialist medications support training alongside required NHS-run training to support the needs of individuals with both long-term mental and physical health conditions.

This is the first time such partnership working has happened in Lambeth, across mental health specialists, GPs and the voluntary sector. We are piloting a new skills mix which works in a more integrated way, recognising the importance of supporting someone to manage their life alongside clinical intervention, rather than offering a clinical solution only.

I have been particularly impressed by Look Ahead’s flexibility in piloting this new way of working, the additional training that has taken place around physical health care needs, and flexing their existing support planning approach in taking a more holistic role.”

Sue Field
Programme Director, Provider Alliance Group (PAG)/Integrated Personalised Support Alliance (IPSA)


Tabard Forensic Service supports 19 male residents aged 18 to 74 who are affected by serious and enduring mental health issues and have significant offending histories. HACT’s evaluation found that per unit, per week the service is:

  • £2,972 cheaper than the average cost of a medium secure mental health inpatient service
  • £2,412 cheaper than the average cost of a low secure mental health inpatient service
  • £377 cheaper than the average cost of a local authority residential care service