Integrating physical and mental health care learning network

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About the learning network

The King’s Fund learning networks provide an opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, challenge and information-sharing. Network members have the opportunity to work through local issues with colleagues facing similar challenges. External speakers will share insights on relevant topics, and the group will also draw on expertise from staff at the Fund, as well as our latest research and publications.

What will you do?

The network will consist of four meetings over eight months, and at each meeting participants will share learning and discuss ideas in relation to a specific topic. These topics will be selected in consultation with sites participating in the network.

The provisional focus of each module is as follows:

Module one

  • Ensuring that people with long-term physical health conditions receive appropriate support for the psychological aspects of their condition.

Module two

  • Developing new approaches to mental health in primary care.

Module three

  • Reducing premature mortality among people with severe mental illnesses by ensuring their physical health needs are met.

Module four

  • Overcoming the barriers to integrated care.

As well as allowing participants to explore innovative models of care from the UK and abroad, there will also be a focus on the process of leading change, drawing on a range of insights from leadership development theory and practice. Topics will include:

  • leading new models of care
  • strengthening clinical and service-user leadership
  • team effectiveness in the context of multidisciplinary working
  • supporting the workforce to deliver integrated care.

Who is it for?

The learning network brings together senior clinicians and managers from across the country to help them work collectively to overcome common challenges and learn from best practice.

Four people from each community can attend the meetings. Participants should be drawn from across the local system and could include representatives from mental health, acute trusts, primary care, social care, commissioning and the voluntary sector. Communities will have the flexibility to invite different people to each module if they wish to do so, but a core team of at least two people from each community should attend all four modules to ensure continuity.

Why are we running this network?

To achieve the vision described in the NHS five year forward view, the NHS will need to adopt more integrated approaches to physical and mental health. This has been identified as a priority in the report of the independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England, as well as in a recent report from The King’s Fund, Bringing together physical and mental health: a new frontier for integrated care.

By running this network we hope to help accelerate progress on this critical dimension of integrated care.

Programme team


Chris Naylor

Senior Fellow, Policy


Durka Dougall

Senior consultant, Leadership and organisational development

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