How Greater Manchester HSCP saved 29,070 hours of staff time with digital mental health services








Service user population
of 2.36 million


Space from Covid

  • 3x As a result of the Space from Covid programme, psychological wellbeing practitioners report being three times more effective.

  • 93% of SilverCloud® by Amwell® users who have been diagnosed with PHQ9 (Depression) in the moderate to severe category reported clinically-significant improvement.

  • £2.2M+ the 12 month net cost savings while using SilverCloud® platform


The Challenge

Greater Manchester was facing significant changes to their IAPT mental health services brought about by COVID-19. Dwindling staff resources coupled with altered care delivery models meant that they were faced with finding solutions that could be provided to patients already receiving mental health care and support the growing number of patients seeking help due to loneliness and isolation. The Royal College of Psychiatrists show that nearly 400,000 children and young people and 2.2 million adults sought mental health support during the pandemic.


With face-to-face therapy services being terminated due to the pandemic and the number of people seeking mental health support increasing, Greater Manchester knew it was essential to continue to bring sufficient support to those who were now without help. Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP), comprising 10 CCGS, NHS trusts, social care providers and voluntary bodies, began to consider digital mental health therapies to see if it could successfully bridge the silos in resource and meet demand.


12,700 people achieved average recovery rates of 59% between April 2020 and January 2021


Space from Covid was made available to 2.36 million people



The Space from Covid programme, a six-module online package, was designed to address issues people were experiencing due to the pandemic. Each module provides clinically-backed support for issues such as trouble sleeping, coping with stress, developing mindfulness, financial worries and experiencing grief and loss, and offers practical tools, tips and suggestions for managing mental health difficulties.


The programme was made available to everyone over the age of 16 within the organisations and CCGs comprising the GMHSCP, totalling a service user population of 2.36 million. It was deployed to complement pre-existing programmes which continued to support individuals if they required additional in-person therapy. By helping 12,700 people to achieve average recovery rates of 59%, between 1 April 2020 and 31 January 2021, and a clinical significant improvement (CSI) rise from 54% to 63% between 1 April 2020 and 1 March 2021, it has been a vital tool within mental health delivery in Greater Manchester.



Patient Outcomes

By decreasing wait times for face-to-face or phone appointments and creating unlimited potential for access to care versus the historic appointment wait times and limited members of staff, patients have had a greater accessibility to treatment. There have been 12,700 SilverCloud® platform users from 1 April 2020 to 1 March 2021. Enrollments on the platform demonstrate demand with 1,100-1,400 enrollments on average per quarter prior to the pandemic, lifting to 2,800-3,200 during the pandemic


Benefits to staff

The GMHSCP estimates that its psychological wellbeing practitioners have been made three times more effective as a result of the SilverCloud® programme, helping to treat those with a lower level of need and allowing practitioners to focus time and resource on those with essential need for more intensive therapy. This meant that between 1 April 2020 and 31 January 2021, 29,070 hours of therapist time has been saved using SilverCloud.


Cost Savings

Prior to working with SilverCloud® the partnership had many simultaneous small contracts with providers of digital therapy. Using reference pricing and savings from NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) the GMHSCP evaluation has identified that during a 12-month period the net cost saving to Greater Manchester by SilverCloud® platform will be a minimum of £2,234,137; just 2,043 patients need to use SilverCloud programmes to break even; for every 1% increase in utilisation Greater Manchester saves £267,135; 29,070 hours of therapist time has been saved using SilverCloud® platform.

The programme has equated to 7,597 extra patients seen in standard treatment or 18,795 using SilverCloud® programmes which is equivalent to 14 full time equivalent Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) staff.

The achievements and benefits of the GMHSCP have been outstanding. The most significant of which is the view of the partnership that without the use of SilverCloud® platform, it would have been extremely challenging to continue offering its services at the same level and quality, and reaching the same number of patients, as it had been doing up until the pandemic.

Further statistics include:

Waiting time

Waiting times improved over time with the 95% 18-week target being met from March 2020 onwards, and the 80% 6-week target being met from August 20 onwards.

Unlimited capacity

Programme capacity is unlimited and has equated to 7,597 extra patients seen in standard treatment or 18,795 using SilverCloud®.

Staff satisfaction

The program when assessed on users, capacity and cost savings was equivalent to 14 full-time equivalent Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) staff, reducing the burden on the time-strapped existing team.

Patient satisfaction

The user satisfaction survey had 109,375 reviews in total and 1,839 patients who accessed COVID support programs. The feedback shows 92% of respondents found the program supportive in making progress toward their goal.

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