Project MH19

Evaluation of the NHS England Peterborough Exemplar implementation (MH19)

The Evaluation of the Peterborough Exemplar aims to assess the effectiveness of a community mental healthcare model improving service accessibility and service users’ experience.


In response to the “Long Term Plan” (2019), the “Community Adult Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults” (2019) policies, and the targets set by the local Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP), local service providers and funders developed the Peterborough Exemplar. The Exemplar is a pilot of a system-wide, patient-centered model of community mental healthcare aiming to develop a connected system of care. Specifically, the exemplar aims to:

a) Strengthen relationships and links among local service providers to enable knowledge exchange and the provision of joined-up care. Investment areas include increased workforce in the Primary Mental Health Service (PCMHS) of the CPFT to liaise with local Primary Care Networks (PCNs), the development of a Health Connector Team to advise GPs and service users with mild-moderate mental health challenges, as well the improvement of relationships among local service providers, such as between secondary mental health services and the third sector.

b) Develop services to address existing gaps in service provision: this part of the transformation focuses on the creation of mental health services, including the Psychological Skills Services (PSS), the expansion of the Personality Disorders Community Services (PDCS), a Dual Diagnosis and Outreach Team, a pharmacist role and a resources website (H.A.Y Peterborough).

Project aims

A service evaluation assessed the degree to which the Peterborough Exemplar meets its main goals. The study focused on:

  1. Evaluating service provision by studying key indicators, including waiting times, the use of services and resources through the system and service users’ outcomes.
  2. Exploring the implementation process of the Exemplar

The evaluation made a comparison of service provision between the areas of Peterborough and Fenland. This allowed the evaluation of services in Peterborough, while also offering insight on service provision in Fenland.

Project activity

As part of designing the Exemplar evaluation, the team liaised with frontline workers and service managers to gain more understanding about how services are delivered and received feedback from key stakeholders that participate in the Steering Group. A Patient and Public Involvement Group (PPI) was organised to discuss with local service users how could the evaluation assess the effectiveness of the Exemplar.

Papers/resources associated with this study

Review paper published: The Peterborough Exemplar: a protocol to evaluate the impact and implementation of a new patient-centred, system-wide community mental healthcare model in England

Who is involved?

PI Prof. Jesus Perez 

Researchers and institutions

The evaluation of the Peterborough Exemplar is organised by the Applied Research Collaboration – East of England (ARC EoE) and the Peterborough Exemplar Partners, including the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Peterborough County Council, MIND Charity and the Greater Peterborough Network (GPN)  

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