Political, health, charity, council and other leaders have come together to launch the Resolving Chaos London multiple needs manifesto.
Designed to bring the views of people with multiple needs to decision makers ahead of the London mayoral and assembly election in May the manifesto was launched at City Hall.
People with combinations of housing, mental health, substance misuse and offending problems are described as having ‘multiple’ or ‘complex’ needs.
Too often people facing these challenges move from one crisis service to another. Stays in emergency housing, hospitals and cells can become an unhappy, unhealthy and costly cycle. With the right support, many people with multiple needs can improve the quality of their lives and reduce their use of expensive crisis services.
As part of our work to design and deliver more of this support Resolving Chaos has collected, through a survey and workshops, the views of people with multiple needs and those who work with them.
Together they have designed five policies which, if delivered by the next mayor, would improve the health and wellbeing of many Londoners and reduce costs to the taxpayer.
Our survey found that 80% of respondents agreed that ‘if people had more choice about the services they use crisis would be less likely.’ As a result the manifesto’s first priority is to support people to make their own choices through personal budgets, co-production of services and other means.
Priority two is to: ‘Join up services so that people don’t fall through the gaps’. More than 75% of respondents also said that current police, council and NHS services don’t work well together to support people with multiple needs.
Although the Metropolitan Police Service has made great strides in improving their response to people in difficulty many respondents felt that there was more to do and so priority three is: ‘Better training for police officers in dealing with people experiencing crisis.’
Priority four is to ‘make public transport accessible and affordable’ and priority five is to ‘create more genuinely affordable and supported housing.’
At a City Hall event politicians and people who use or provide services came together to launch the priorities and hear direct from those with multiple needs through a specially commissioned film. Guests included NHS England National Clinical Director for Mental Health Dr Geraldine Strathdee and the shadow minister for mental health Luciana Berger MP.
Resolving Chaos chief executive Ann Skinner said: ‘Our Lottery-funded Fulfilling Lives programme in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham is showing that people with multiple needs can gain independence, improve the quality of their lives and get out of the cycle of depending on expensive crisis care. We wanted to bring their, too often ignored voices, to City Hall and to the ears of decision makers so that we can make further improvements to benefit the most vulnerable Londoners and taxpayers.’
Multiple needs Manifesto London 2016 - Click here.