From 18th January 2016, the work previously undertaken by the Evolve mental health long-term conditions service will transfer to a new model of service, a Wellness Service, spearheaded by FedNet, a Federation of Waltham Forest GPs. As a result of this, the Evolve long-term conditions service provided by CREST ceased operating at the end of November 2015.
Evolve was originally established with funding from Waltham Forest PCT at the beginning of 2009, shortly after the closure of CREST’s Waltham Forest Mental Health Befriending Service. Initially conceived as a voluntary sector primary care community bridge building service working with people with mild to moderate mental health problems, it operated largely in community settings supporting many hundreds of people to access mainstream services within fields such as education, employment, volunteering and sport. The service very quickly became popular with local GPs who were its primary source of referral, reaching its first-year target of supporting 175 people within a mere eight months of its launch and actually achieving a total of 198 people in the year.
After several years, Evolve was subsequently redesigned as a long-term conditions service supporting people with significant and enduring mental health problems, not only supporting them to access mainstream activities, but also ensuring they attended all their essential health checks.
Over the six years of its existence, overseen by Team Leader Chris O’Sullivan, Evolve was privileged to have had the services of a really committed team of Bridge Builders and, subsequently, Navigators — in 2014, its work was even featured in an NHS Guide to best practice for commissioning bodies.
CREST would like to take this opportunity to thank the very many people who have given so much of their time and energy to the concept of Evolve over the years. For the future, CREST will still endeavour to maintain thinkarts! and the Evolve Social Group as it seeks to support and develop the Harmony Health Hub.