The Primrose project: severe mental illness and physical health


The Primrose project is a large scale study led by researchers at University College London (UCL) developing an service in GP surgeries  to address the higher risk of cardiovascular disease among people with severe mental health problems. Part of the role of the LEAP has been to design its own research study. The group decided to explore why service users decide to take part or decline invitations to join a research study. The LEAP provides insight drawn from lived experience of mental illness that improves the service in GP surgeries to help people better manage their physical and cardiovascular health. People in the LEAP are given a voice at the centre of research in order to develop a more effective and meaningful service for people at risk of heart disease and stroke. In the LEAP designed qualitative research study, members of the LEAP have designed and will deliver the research as peer researchers. The chosen topic is important to help us produce better recruitment materials for studies and communicate more effectively with people about why research may be relevant to them and something to support by taking part in a research study.


Why is this research important?

People with mental health problems have a higher risk of physical health problems, such as heart disease and stroke (cardiovascular disease) and diabetes. These physical health problems often go undetected and untreated, as people’s mental health is seen as a priority over the secondary concern of people’s physical health. The Primrose project is designed to remedy this and places the physical health of people with mental health problems at the heart of care.


How is McPin involved?

The McPin Foundation is facilitating Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) of thirty people. The panel will act as a ‘critical friend’ to the Primrose project. An addition a LEAP sub-group of eight people has offered advice and recommendations on improving the service in GP surgeries. The LEAP has offered numerous feedback and development to the Primrose project, so that the service is improved and more meaningful for people with mental health problems and their carers. It has also looked at how to help the researchers deliver their study by problem solving around recruitment challenges. The LEAP created an engaging information leaflet and thank you post cards. The qualitative study sub-group has three LEAP members. Towards the end of the study a final sub-group was recruited including new members and existing LEAP advisors. The new group was set up to support dissemination of the Primrose study findings and was called, a LEAP: Lived Experience Dissemination Advisory Group.


What is the current status of the project?

The main study finished in 2017 and we are awaiting feedback on the final report can be found on the Lancet Website. You can also listen to this podcast discussing the research.

You can also find more information at:

The Primrose project:

The Primrose LEAP blog:


Who do I contact for information?

For more information please email: