Life Rooms have beaten opposition from across the country to win the prestigious NHS Parliamentary Award for Excellence in Mental Health Care for their work in supporting people’s mental and physical health during the pandemic.
The five Life Rooms wellbeing centres, run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, received the award during a ceremony at the Department of Health in London, opened by the Prime Minister, for their innovative response to their buildings being closed following the COVID-19 lockdown.
Within two weeks of the lockdown being introduced, Life Rooms transferred their health and wellbeing programmes online and supported patients and the local community via telephone or guided them to clinical support when necessary.
“We’re absolutely delighted to accept this award and are thrilled at the recognition given to everyone at the Life Rooms who worked so hard to support our service users and our local communities during the pandemic,” said Michael Crilly, Mersey Care’s Director of Social Inclusion & Participation at the Life Rooms.
“Once everything went into the first lockdown last year, we were concerned how that would impact people’s physical and mental wellbeing.
“I was incredibly proud of our response because within two weeks of closing our buildings our teams launched ‘The Life Rooms Online, transferring our health and wellbeing courses onto video, while our pathway advisors and support workers proactively outreached to the most vulnerable people in our society to provide both practical and emotional support. “
The initiatives launched by The Life Rooms to help service users and their local communities during the pandemic, between April 2020 and March 2021, included:
- 461 Zoom learning sessions helping people with their health and wellbeing, which generated over 20,000 views
- 6,574 telephone contacts took place with The Life Rooms’ Pathways Advisors offering social prescribing support and linking them to community help or guiding them to clinical support routes
- 1,907 proactive contacts were made by The Life Rooms support workers to identify needs within local communities
- 1,579 Community Mental Health Team service users with Mersey Care were proactively supported by the Life Rooms Support Team
- 3,362 primary care patients were contacted with 563 signed up to Life Rooms support.
This is the first national NHS Parliamentary Award won by one of Mersey Care’s services and is one of three NHS initiatives from the North West honoured in the awards alongside the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network (Wellbeing at Work category) while Dr Rajiv Sethi won the NHS Rising Star.
Dan Carden, the MP for Liverpool Walton, who nominated the Life Rooms, said: “The Life Rooms provides a safe and welcoming space for my constituents to access resources, learn new skills, build a sense of community and cultivate positive mental health and wellbeing.”
Fiona Cannon, the Group Sustainable Business Director at Lloyds Banking Group, who sponsored the Excellence in Mental Health Care Award, added: “Huge congratulations to all of those involved in the Life Rooms. The services they provide are crucial to the mental health and well-being of the people in their community, especially during these difficult times.”