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You Can

About You Can

Following our work to develop a Feasibility study which made a business case for the joint commissioning of a service to holistically support individuals with complex and multiple needs, Resolving Chaos led a two-year action research pilot of the You Can project in the Three Rivers and Hertsmere areas of Hertfordshire. The project was run by Resolving Chaos through an innovative partnership with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLaM), a leading NHS provider of mental health and substance misuse services.

How we worked

The project aimed to demonstrate that by giving the right support and more control to people in these circumstances real improvements are possible. Our approach was based on:

  • Putting people at the centre of what we do, supporting them to take control of their life
  • Building people’s confidence and enabling them to make choices for themselves
  • Working with local partners to look at different ways of supporting individuals with multiple needs
  • Using learning from the project to improve how services work together to deliver better outcomes for people.

You Can was a nomination only service. We closely worked with service providers to identify those who would benefit most from the service. Taking an asset-based approach, the Project Workers worked with participants out in the community, going to meet them where they felt comfortable. The team had access to individual budgets to support participant’s progress.

Economic evaluation was undertaken by Resolving Chaos in partnership with the London School of Economics’ Personal Social Services Research Unit. The Resolving Chaos economic analysis reported across participants an average of £232k of costs were reduced per annum, this equates to a 29% cost reduction of services used. Particular decreases were noted for reducing demand in emergency and crisis services for mental health, reduced costs of prison and court costs, housing management and temporary accommodation. It is important to note that the team worked to engage participants into appropriate support services, which was evidenced by increased costs of engaging with community drug and alcohol services.

Evaluation of outcomes were recorded and analysed throughout the project. Key findings were improvement for mental health, housing, fewer incidences of crisis requiring Police call-out and reduced drug and alcohol use. We are pleased that the service was shortlisted for a prestigious award through the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.

The pilot service ended in July 2017, with a legacy of improved joint working and co-ordination when agencies are supporting people with multiple needs. Future commissioning will work to embed joint working and provision of support for people with complex and multiple needs. Please contact us to learn further details of this project.



  • Affinity Sutton
  • Aldwyck Housing Association
  • Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Hertfordshire County Council
  • Hertfordshire Constabulary
  • Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Hertsmere Borough Council
  • Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Job Centre Plus Hertfordshire
  • MIND Hertfordshire Network
  • Three Rivers District Council
  • Thrive
  • Watford Community Housing Trust
  • West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust

Our manager was experienced in establishing new initiatives and was supported by an experienced team of project workers from a mixture of disciplines including homelessness, drug and alcohol, mental health, and work with ex-offenders. There was also a part-time project manager and data evaluator to support the project.



There were office bases in two locations within Three Rivers and Hertsmere:

  • Hertsmere Borough Council Office – close to partners in Police, Community Safety and Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.
  • South Oxhey – the Step Up building, next to the Police Station and located with local voluntary and community partners including Ascend and Hertfordshire Mind Network.