Best Mental Health Partnership with the NHS 
Best Mental Health Partnership with the NHS 

How to apply

Entries are now closed

Many commitments were made in the NHS Long Term Plan towards mental health, and the sector has been promised an additional £2.3bn of funding by 2023-24. These commitments and funding were much-needed, especially given the additional strain on resources we now see following the Covid-19 crisis and resulting UK lockdowns. 

Continuous improvements to liaison psychiatry, community services, children and young people’s services, crisis services, and many more are required to ensure the nation’s mental health outcomes remain on par with physical health. Innovative new ways of thinking in areas such as suicide prevention, service digitisation, social prescription, and the reduction in restrictive practice are being adopted by organisations across the country keen to ensure that the need for mental healthcare is met.  

These innovations and improvements cannot be effectively delivered without the support of the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. This award will recognise the partnerships enabling the delivery of better mental health services, putting patients at the centre of care, engaging the community and reducing stigma. 


  • This award is open to any private or not-for-profit business which works in partnership with an NHS organisation to deliver mental health services, or within a mental health setting 
  • These can be single partnerships or joint working projects, but must demonstrate evidence from the past two years up until the awards deadline date 


  • Describe the context of the partnership and the reason that innovation or improvements were required. 
  • Provide clear evidence that the co-developed solution served the patient or service user better than the NHS was able to deliver alone. 
  • Outline the targets set to measure the effectiveness of the improvement or innovation, and the steps put in place to achieve them. 


  • Clearly demonstrate the benefits of the partnership on patient outcomes, which could include improved patient experience, waiting time reduction, capacity increase or optimised treatment pathways. 
  • Discuss how the NHS organisation has benefited from the partnership in terms of staffing, cost, reducing inefficiencies or ability to provide services. 
  • Judges will be looking for any innovative practices generated by the partnership which have created beneficial outcomes. 


  • Describe how the business has worked with the NHS to ensure best practice learning has been disseminated. 
  • Discuss to what extent the best practice elements or innovations generated by the partnership have been adopted by other NHS departments or organisations within the wider STP/ICS. 
  • Have the innovations or improvements been employed within other partnerships formed by the private sector partner? 


  • Describe how the different partners worked together to co-design improvements or innovations. 
  • Show how patients and staff contributed towards and added value to the goals and outcomes of the partnership. 
  • Provide clear evidence surrounding the consultative measures taken to inform, involve and enable participation in the design of any new innovation or adaptation to existing working practices. 


  • How has the partnership led to material and measurable non-monetary improvements within the NHS organisation? 
  • What financial benefits have been realised by the partnership, or if partnering has cost the NHS more money than delivering the project alone, how have the non-monetary benefits outweighed the costs? 
  • Provide supporting evidence to substantiate these claims 

To find out more

For entry enquiries, contact James Elliot on