Evaluation of a primary care based collaborative care model (PARTNERS2) for people with diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar or other psychoses: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial

Humera Plappert, Charley Hobson-Merrett, Bliss Gibbons, Elina Baker, Sheridan Bevan, Michael Clark, Siobhan Creanor, Linda Davies, Rebecca Denyer, Julia Frost, Linda Gask, John Gibson, Laura Gill, Ruth Gwernan-Jones, Pollyanna Hardy, Joanne Hosking, Peter Huxley, Alison Jeffrey, Benjamin Jones, Steven MarwahaVanessa Pinold, Claire Planner, Tim Rawcliffe, Siobhan Reilly, Debra Richards, Lynsey Williams, Max Birchwood, Richard Byng

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Current NHS policy encourages an integrated approach to provision of mental and physical care for individuals with long term mental health problems. The ‘PARTNERS2’ complex intervention is designed to support individuals with psychosis in a primary care setting.


The trial will evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the PARTNERS2 intervention.

Design & setting 

This is a cluster randomised controlled superiority trial comparing collaborative care (PARTNERS2) with usual care, with an internal pilot to assess feasibility. The setting will be primary care within four trial recruitment areas: Birmingham & Solihull, Cornwall, Plymouth, and Somerset. GP practices are randomised 1:1 to either (a) the PARTNERS2 intervention plus modified standard care (‘intervention’); or (b) standard care only (‘control’).


PARTNERS2 is a flexible, general practice-based, person-centred, coaching-based intervention aimed at addressing mental health, physical health, and social care needs. Two hundred eligible individuals from 39 GP practices are taking part. They were recruited through identification from secondary and primary care databases. The primary hypothesis is quality of life (QOL). Secondary outcomes include: mental wellbeing, time use, recovery, and process of physical care. A process evaluation will assess fidelity of intervention delivery, test hypothesised mechanisms of action, and look for unintended consequences. An economic evaluation will estimate its cost-effectiveness. Intervention delivery and follow-up have been modified during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The overarching aim is to establish the clinical and cost-effectiveness of the model for adults with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar, or other types of psychoses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalBJGP Open
Issue number3
Early online date30 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
PARTNERS2 is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grant for Applied Research Programme (grant number: RP-PG-200625). This research was also supported by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Health Service (NHS), NIHR or the Department of Health. The funder had no role in the design of this study and will not have any role during execution, analysis, interpretation of findings or decision to submit results.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Authors.


  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Collaborative Care
  • Protocol
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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