Social outcomes contract helps Kettering man overcome mental health issues

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Kettering-based Craig McLundie was in a bad place. Struggling with his mental health, anxiety and pre-diabetes meant he was unable to work and increasingly isolated.

Thankfully a solution came. Not in traditional medication or healthcare support, but as part of a social outcomes contract involvement with SPRING in Northants.

He is one of thousands of people who have been supported with this form of commissioning that is helping keep UK citizens healthy and taking the strain off our under-pressure NHS.

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An independent report out today, produced by ATQ Consultants for Better Society Capital, demonstrates that social outcomes contracts – a method of public service delivery which enables prevention – have generated £1.9 billion of total value to the taxpayer, including positive improvements to society like improved health, reduced crime or helping people with mental health issues into work.

Craig McLundie (left)Craig McLundie (left)
Craig McLundie (left)

This value was generated at a cost to government of £217 million and without compromising service quality and supporting individuals with complex needs.

Outcomes contracts are a method of service delivery that channels socially motivated investment into social sector organisations to provide public services which tackle issues ranging from homelessness and healthcare to youth unemployment.

In contrast to traditionally run public services, these require no cost to government until pre-agreed delivery outcomes are met, while local expert charities and social enterprises deliver the services.

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Craig is a massive supporter of this approach, first attending a Mindful Art Group, which offered a combination of meditation and mindfulness that helped him to connect with people again.

“After six months I could start a phased return to work, but there was another big breakthrough for me,” said Craig, who lives in Kettering.

“I also joined the Frank Bruno Foundation – a charity set up to support people with their mental health through non-contact boxing. This helped me grow in confidence, and SPRING then sponsored my first fight night, which I won - raising £1500 for charity in the process.”

Craig’s training and lifestyle changes have reversed existing pre-diabetes, he is now more able to manage his anxiety and has returned to work full time.

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“I felt like I had been let down by traditional services previously, but, through SPRING, regular check ins and the groups made me feel supported and able to make sustained changes.”

At a time where NHS resources are stretched and funding is stagnating, Better Society Capital is arguing that the adoption of outcomes contracting can help the country spend significantly less on treating preventable conditions, with healthcare currently the single most expensive policy area and at the forefront of voters’ minds with the next election looming.

In health alone, the new report shows that outcomes contracts have reduced demand on the health service equating to a total saving of £128.6 million at a corresponding cost to the commissioner of just £26.63 million

Aman Johal, Managing Director of Better Society Capital, concluded: “This research proves what we have known from individual projects – these contracts not only deliver meaningful change in communities and prevent social problems where complex needs exist, but also save the taxpayer considerable money.

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“The next government has the opportunity to safely transform key areas of public services with trustworthy delivery partners, who not only know their local communities but also operate with no up-front costs.”

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