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New ways of working in mental health

Our new ways of working in mental health delivery introduces new roles into mental health services, or expanding existing roles.


The workstream aims to support new ways of working; developing an integrated workforce culture that empowers the breakthrough of system barriers as well as maximising the potential of the current and future workforce including professionals working at the top of their professional license and scope of practice. 

To achieve this aim with the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions and meet the mental health needs of patients and services users, HEE's Mental Health Programme recently established the New Ways of Working in Mental Health Group (NWWMHG). 

Delivery purpose

The NWWMHG provides oversight, support and assurance with regard to all aspects of the new ways of working /new routes into mental health programmes of work and deliverables. The NWWMHCG has an essential role in the bringing together of the implementation groups, to ensure the effective delivery of the key mental health workforce priorities identified to enable the growth/implementation of:


The benefits of this focused delivery for people who access mental health services include:

  • improved access to services at an earlier stage by addressing the shortage of supply
  • services available and accessible at the right time; and
  • services delivered in a more integrated way, to help embed mental health services into the NHS

Further information and resources:

New roles resources, products and tools

Vision of the national programme for new roles in mental health guide.

Guide: Good practice in developing new workforce roles

Good practice in developing new workforce roles is a suite of resources that have been built on good working practice. They advise workforce designers when modelling supply and demand, whilst supporting NHS and Social Care employers, creating sustainable new roles that are worthwhile and offer good career opportunities for the staff filling them. The resources are on our e-Learning for Healthcare website. Other electronic formats are available on request, email mentalhealth@hee.nhs.uk.

Films: Good practice in developing new workforce roles

Films have been developed to capture key lessons learned around the development and implementation of new roles. They introduce and outline headlines from the new role seminars on supporting workforce planners and leaders.

Lived Experience Connector

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust introduced the Lived Experience Connector (LEC) ® role in 2015 as a way of involving people with lived experience of services in the trust’s provision of staff training. HEE is working with the trust to promote awareness of this role and encourage other organisations to introduce it. To find out more, visit the Lived Experience Connector webpage and Nursing Associate and Lived Experience Connector case study.

Pharmacy Technician

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust showcases the value of their pharmacy technician role with a case study from Ciara and Cat in the secure care services. 

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