The most exciting development has been working with our partners in the boroughs to discuss the service model and the needs of people who will potentially use it, in order to plan the model accordingly. We are doing this in several ways:
Feasibility studies. In each of the three boroughs, we have now met with, and worked with staff, who support people with multiple and complex problems, to focus on those people who despite the best efforts of many staff and agencies, remain in a cycle of poor outcomes, chaotic behaviour, frequent arrests, homelessness etc.
Each of the meetings were incredibly positive, with committed, skilled workers and managers sharing case histories that we will use firstly to assess the cost across many local agencies in maintaining the status quo, which will also be a measure to allow us to measure how a successful service working with challenging people will impact upon local services and budgets. We will also use this information as a basis of modelling support services, particularly using peer support, the role of Individual Budgets and how we can engage people who have long histories of not maintaining relationships with support services and remaining in a “high cost, poor outcome” cycle.
Planning user-led peer consultation. We are convinced that using current and former service users at the heart of this service model will help engage and make a change in the people the service will work with. We are currently discussing with service user groups in each of the boroughs and with our key partners of St Giles, Thames Reach, Certitude and SLAM how they will be able to help us throughout the project, primarily in undertaking peer-led consultation with people who may use or require the service.
On-going project development. In the midst of this we are also developing a raft of systems, budgets, project plans for both short and long-term use, as well as working closely with our key partners to plan the service model. Our recent Away Day for core partners was most useful in clarifying where we are and also what is ahead.
Overall, it’s busy, busy but very exciting!