UCLP-Primrose (2021-24)

UCLP-Primrose brings together two innovations: Primrose-A and the UCLPartners Proactive Care Frameworks.

Severe Mental Illness (SMI) refers to people who have a debilitating psychological problem (for example: schizophrenia or bipolar disorder) that significantly impacts their daily activities. People with SMI are frequently managed in primary care and have a higher risk of problems linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD).

UCLP-Primrose brings together two innovations: Primrose-A and The UCLPartners Proactive Care Frameworks.


Primrose-A is an evidence-based approach to delivering intensive tailored support for people with severe mental illness. It is a primary care service where individuals are supported to build behavioural strategies to prevent relapse and improve their cardiovascular health. The service includes up to eight 30-minute sessions with a nurse and four 60-minute sessions with a peer coach (individuals with lived experience of mental health problems) over six months.

Primrose-A was developed and delivered collaboratively with patient and public involvement throughout including the research design, intervention development and delivery, and interpretation of results with a Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP). Primrose-A has been shown to deliver improvements in mental health and reduce healthcare costs. Watch Population Health Nurse Anne-Marie Kay and Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Ian Prenelle introduce Primrose A below.

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UCLPartners Proactive Care Frameworks

The UCLPartners Proactive Care Frameworks uses stratification to identify patients who need priority management and deploy the wider primary care workforce to provide structured support for patient education, self-management, and behaviour change. The framework is designed so that those patients with the greatest clinical risk from physical risk factors are prioritised so that their treatment can be optimised. Watch Programme Director and GP Dr Matt Kearney introduce UCLPartners Proactive Care Frameworks below.

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Bringing them together: UCLP-Primrose has been developed to maximise the benefits of the SMI physical health check and to help people with SMI to receive the best care for their physical health as well as their mental health. Alongside this, patients receive structured support for education and self-management, and holistic support for wider health and social needs.

Implementation and research

UCLP-Primrose is being implemented nationally, starting with expansion of delivery in the Camden and Islington NHS Trust and parallel implementation in Bradford (2021-24).

Research to evaluate this adapted service has recently won further NIHR research funding till March 2024, as part of the national Multiple Long-term Conditions Programme. The principal investigator is Professor David Osborn

See the UCLP-Primrose pathway tab, UCLP-Primrose research tab, NIHR ARC North Thames website, and UCLPartners website for more information.

Keep up to date with what else is happening connected to Primrose:


Building on Primrose, Professor Emily Oliver and the team at Newcastle University, with Professors David Osborn and Kate Walters at UCL, are completing a project called WHOLE-SMI (wellbeing and holistic health for individuals living with severe mental illness). WHOLE-SMI is focused on holistic health promotion for people living with severe mental illness and explores the implementation and adaptation of PRIMROSE in the Northeast of England and North Cumbria. For more information on the status of this work, please contact Emily.oliver@newcastle.ac.uk.

Resources and publications related to WHOLE-SMI can be found here: