Evaluation of the Support First Programme (Bolton)


What are we trying to do?

Funded by the Big Lottery’s Help through Crisis Programme, Support First Bolton is providing intensive, tailored support to service users in the Bolton Community who have multiple social and lifestyles needs, have difficulty engaging with mainstream services and, as a consequence, frequently access high cost emergency services in crisis.

NIHR CLAHRC Greater Manchester is acting as a ‘critical friend’ to the Support First Bolton partners through this programme, which is seeking to develop an alternative approach led by the third sector which will support individuals practically to address their needs and to be better able to access and engage with existing community based services.

Why is it important?

Addressing the needs of high-risk patients in Bolton is key to improve the quality of care received, better utilise available resources, and free up time for health care professionals in the region. Improved cost efficiency and reducing the reliance on high cost acute services will lead to improved quality of life for those high-risk patients.

How will we do it?

As a ‘critical friend’ to the Support First partners we will initially review practices and processes and then develop a framework for the longer term evaluation of what is an emerging and evolving service and, indeed, group of service users.

Who will we work with?

Urban Outreach is the lead partner of the Support First programme which also includes:

Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Greater Manchester Police (Bolton Division)

North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS)

Bolton Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service (BiDAS)

Building A New Direction (BAND) – a mental health charity in Bolton leading on volunteer befriending for the project


More information

For further information, please contact Sue Howard, Programme Manager, or Paul Wilson, Academic lead.