mental health

Trauma Informed Care

A trauma informed approach is a system-wide approach to addressing the adversity that underlies much suffering and its impact on relationships. It is a system that is guided by knowledge of what is needed for healing from emotional and psychological wounds. It has relevance to everyone in the system through the promotion of safe, open trusting alliances. As such it works to create psychologically healthy and rewarding places of work that can adequately address the needs of people who come for help.  It also focuses its efforts to prevent harm for people using the service, including that harm caused by services in their efforts to manage risk.

  • Following a National Summit held in March 2019, led by the NHSE Strategic Clinical Network and the Academic Health Science Network for the North East and North Cumbria (AHSN NENC), funding was received from NHS England/Improvement to establish a Trauma Informed Community of Action to focus on the following key areas of activity via a Core Action Group (CAG)
  • Development of a Trauma Informed Care (TIC) workspace on the NHS Futures Platform
  • Design and delivery of regular learning webinars
  • Coaching and mentoring support to interested organisations and teams including NHSE/I 12 Community Mental Health Transformation Funding Early Implementer ‘Personality Disorder’ Sites
  • An external evaluation to shape the work.

Contact Details

Project Dates

Project Start 01/01/2020
Project End Ongoing



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'I attended a webinar and I said that your platform {Trauma Informed Care NHS Futures Platform} was a fantastic example of collaborative working between sectors on a national, regional and local basis, allowing for the sharing of some excellent, good practice and developing some wonderful networks. I think the platform is fantastic for sharing great practice with lots of practitioners up and down the country, I've made some fantastic connections and people have been so generous in what they have shared. I've joined more groups as a result that are a great mutual support in the work that I/we do. I feel there are many radiators and enablers on the platform.‘
Leah Booker, Managing Director, Free to be you, Counselling, Psychotherapy Supervision
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Trauma informed approaches to care are important because it puts the patient’s lived experience at the centre of the healing process and focuses on building support for the patient based on engaging with the complexity of that lived experience.  Trauma informed approaches to care are referenced in:

  1. NHS Long-Term Plan 2019, in providing trauma informed care for at-risk youth and/or involved with the justice system, as well as being a part of new primary and community care for adults with severe mental illness.
  2. NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 – 2023/24 in relation to adults with severe mental illness getting more control over their care, and to support measures for rough sleepers.

The Trauma-informed Community of Action prides itself on co production and demonstrates active involvement by:

  • Having lived experience representatives as members of the Trauma Informed Care Core Action Group and is chaired by a nationally recognised expert by experience and senior researcher.
  • All webinars include expert by experience speakers, and some are chaired by individuals with lived experience of using services.
  • Providing a workspace on the Future NHS Collaboration Platform allowing forum discussions and distribution of information. In May 2021 there were 635 registered members. It is a vibrant and energetic platform for leading discussion and influencing change.
  • A ‘Sensemaker’ evaluation was co-produced with core members of the CAG including those with lived experience.
  • The Trauma-informed Care Community of Action opened a workspace on the NHS Futures Collaboration Platform in March 2020 allowing forum discussions and distribution of information, it currently has 635 registered members.
  • The workspace is well used for providing and accessing reports and other media. 34 documents/items of media have been made available across 7 subject folders and, in total, these documents have been downloaded 405 times and previewed 943 times.
  • Members have made use of some other features of NHS Futures Platform workspace, e.g., over 60 members have used it to post shared messages as part of a discussion.
  • 9 webinars with national and international presenters have been held from June 2020 to May 2021 on various trauma informed themes with audiences between 57-245.
  • Bespoke offers of solution focused coaching and mentoring looking at lessons leant, frameworks and tools to assist implementation and where to find quick wins have been delivered to over 10 organisations.

In 2020-21 the TIC Core Action Group established a monthly delivery of national sharing and learning webinars involving national and international speakers.  The topic areas have covered historic trauma associated with race; issues affecting older people through a COVID lens; people with complex needs; lived experience leadership; and trauma informed care research.  Webinars generate additional issues and conversations continue via NHS Futures Platform.


Several high-quality focused resources have been produced including  ‘Developing real world system capability in trauma informed approaches to mental health 2020’.


An independent evaluation of the Platform has been completed and provided a focus for the ongoing development for example, a key finding for the implementation of trauma informed care is leadership, therefore work has taken place with the NHS Leadership Academy to commence leadership circles training.


The Core Action Group has also provided coaching and learning support to teams which include Early Implementer Sites. Most teams have expressed that they would like further dedicated time to assist in the local implementation of trauma informed approaches to care.

Benefits include:

  • Establishment of a virtual stakeholder steering group with representation from a range of trauma informed care organisations around the UK.
  • Establishment of a NHS hosted digital platform for sharing materials and encouraging the exchange of ideas, with a particular focus on practical guidance and tips for local health and care systems/NHS organisations on how to work with local partners, healthcare staff and people with lived experience to develop and implement trauma informed care.
  • In providing coaching and learning support. Teams have expressed that they would like further dedicated time to assist in the local implementation of trauma informed approaches to care. The goals have been to respond flexibly to their trauma informed needs.

The AHSN NENC is supporting the delivery of the national trauma informed community of practice with the aim of promoting good, evidenced practice, shared learning, shaping, and informing national policy and collaboration.  AHSN NENC provides leadership and project officer support.

To look at funding opportunities to continue TiCA for 2021 to 2022.

To continue the TIC Core Action Group to oversee delivery of:

  • Regular webinars
  • Bespoke coaching and mentoring sessions
  • NHS Futures Platform to be enhanced with blogs, forums and case-studies, personal narratives to encourage members to comment and/or engage in discussions on shared documents
  • To collate personal narratives to inform practice
  • Offer a national webinar to the successful ICS Community Mental Health Transformation programmes on the rational for underpinning their activity using a trauma informed approach.

• Video: A Trauma Informed Framework for change
Developing real world system capability in trauma informed approaches to mental health 2020 (A report from the Trauma Summit held in March 2019)
Trauma-informed Community of Action Brief evaluation of the community and its use of the FutureNHS Platform (December 2020)
• An Online System for Consensus and Opinion Development: A Collaboration between Northumbria University and the National NHSE Community of Action for Trauma Informed Care. The online tool helped members of the Trauma Informed Care Community of Action to reach consensus on some statements relevant to Trauma Informed Care. Download the TIC-Consensus-System-Report.