Local mental health project wins award for innovation

Mental health

A local mental health programme has won the ‘Innovation of the Year’ award at the National Integrated Health Awards 2023.

The Shine Programme is a unique digital approach to support staff and patient wellbeing, putting tailored mental health support directly in their hands through a mobile app.

This offers users interactive exercises, advice and resources that improve well-being and resilience based on science and research.

The Shine Programme is the result of a collaborative effort involving the Bedfordshire, Luton, and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board (BLMK ICB), Arden & GEM CSU (NHS digital transformation experts), and ShinyMind (developers of evidence-based mental health tools).

Together, they worked closely to design and implement this innovative initiative. The programme has successfully enhanced the well-being of primary care professionals and empowered patients to take better control of their mental health.

Susi Clarke, Primary Care Training Hub Lead, BLMK ICB, said: “We created the Shine Programme alongside NHS clinicians to address increasing demand for mental health services in primary care.

“To date, 91% of staff engaging with the programme have reported an improvement in wellbeing, with 83% of patients saying they would recommend it to others, which is fantastic.

“We are absolutely delighted that the success of this programme has been recognised at the Integrated Health Awards.”

Rebecca Howard, Founder, ShinyMind, said: “We are honoured to win and be recognised as Innovation of the Year alongside Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board and NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit, who have helped drive this work to support system change at scale.

The Shine Programme is based on the ShinyMind app, originally developed in collaboration with NHS staff. Primary care professionals have also participated in virtual training sessions and gained access to the ShinyMind app to enhance their well-being and resilience.

A confidential research questionnaire revealed that 91% of the staff who engaged with the programme reported an improvement in their well-being, while 64% expressed a greater likelihood of continuing to work in primary care.

Trained staff members now have the ability to prescribe ShinyMind as a valuable resource for patient well-being.

The programme focuses on individuals aged 18 and above, including those dealing with anxiety, depression, long-term conditions, or facing significant health disparities.

Once prescribed, users gain access to personalized support through “LifePacks,” which address specific needs such as anxiety management and mental wellness, empowering individuals to better self-manage their well-being.

There are plans to expand the programme to all GP practices and NHS Talking Therapies services in Bedfordshire, Luton, and Milton Keynes.

The anticipated long-term benefits include improved morale, enhanced patient access through digital solutions, reduced health inequalities, and decreased staff workload.