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POST DOCTORAL PROJECT: Understanding, addressing, and meeting the complex needs of people living with long term physical and mental health conditions: a qualitative study

Chief Investigator: Dr Leire Ambrosio – University of Southampton

Project Team Members: Professor David Baldwin – University of Southampton. Professor Mari Carmen Portillo – University of Southampton, Dr Kate Lippiett – University of Southampton, Dr Lindsey Cherry – University of Southampton, Dr Pritti Aggarwal – Living well partnership – NHS Southampton CCG, Mr Barney Williams Jones – University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Sara Mckelvie – University of Southampton, Ms Linda Lamond – PPI co-applicant

Organisations Involved:  University of Southampton, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, Living well Partnership – Southampton CCG. Oxfordshire Primary Care System, Anxiety UK, Mind, Oxfordshire.

Background:
People with long term physical conditions are 2-3 times more likely to experience mental health problems than the general population, particularly depression and anxiety. At least 30% of all adults with long term physical conditions also have mental health problems

People living with long term physical and mental conditions not only experience hardships relating to health but also have complex psychosocial, environmental, economic, and spiritual needs. Healthcare professionals find it difficult to deliver fully integrated care for these populations, partly due to systematic barriers and the fragmentation of health and social services. The advent of social prescribing link workers as a priority for the NHS provides an opportunity to address some of these hardships and needs. Social prescribing link workers aim to connect people to community local services to address their complex needs through a person- centred approach. However, approaches to social prescribing link worker implementation are variable, with potential pathway gaps, and there is unclear guidance for primary care networks about how to integrate this novel workforce into efforts to address and meet the complex needs of people living with long term physical and mental conditions.