A report launched today by a coalition of charities shows that people with multiple needs – a combination of homelessness, substance misuse, offending, and mental health problems – are not getting the support they need because policymakers aren’t consistently listening to them or the practitioners that support them.
‘Solutions from the Frontline’ is based on the ideas and experiences of people with multiple needs. It sets out how the new Government, as well as national and local policy makers and commissioners, can act to reduce stigma, improve services, and support people to achieve their ambitions.
Reduce stigma and improve access to services by listening and acting.
In the March 2015 Budget the Government committed to exploring options to integrate spending around vulnerable groups of people in order to improve cost effectiveness. Every year 58,000 people face multiple needs. Their contact with services is often ineffective, leading to more urgent and expensive care being necessary. Current estimates suggest that the annual cost of supporting people with multiple needs is between £1.1 billion and £2.1 billion¹.
The Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition is calling for a new approach, where people experiencing multiple needs are placed at the centre of their own support, listened to, understood and have all their needs addressed.
The recommendations include:
- Listen to frontline voices and tackle stigma: The views of those with direct experience of multiple needs should be integrated into policy-making and the design and delivery of services.
- Deliver flexible and more joined-up services: Government and commissioners need to prioritise multiple needs and ensure that they are joined-up, flexible and don’t allow anyone to fall through the gaps.
- Support people toward independence: Back-to-work support providers and local authorities should improve access to personalised support and quality accommodation to allow people with multiple needs to move towards independence.
To download the report, visit http://meam.org.uk/publications/
¹ This figure is based on a combination of findings from an evaluation of pilot projects by Making Every Adult Matter, and research by the Lankelly Chase. For a full analysis and references see MEAM (2015) Individuals with multiple needs – the case for a national focus, p. 7 (http://www.meam.org.uk/publications/)