Getting started – partnership, coproduction and defining the problem
In Basingstoke and Deane, we have been using the MEAM Approach since April 2016. Our decision to become a MEAM Approach area was based on a consistent increase in numbers of people with multiple needs recognised in both rough sleeper counts and feedback from services. We have created a strong partnership with representation from housing, community safety, mental health, probation, ambulance service, hospital alcohol nurses, emergency hostels, day services, outreach, elected members and others. Coproduction is central to our MEAM work and people with lived experience attend the Social Inclusion Partnership (our strategic function), bringing insight and challenge.
Designing your intervention
The work is coordinated by our operational group and three outreach workers. We focus on people using multiple crisis services and who are rough sleeping or vulnerably housed. The operational group meets every two weeks to discuss barriers and problem-solve. We have developed new relationships with a growing number of partners including the alcohol pathway nurses from the local hospital and the South Central Ambulance Service; and developed a better understanding of how services can support each other more effectively with limited resources. There is now an incentive for a more diverse range of agencies to be involved and we continue to build our partnership.
Sustainability and system change
Strategic oversight of the work is provided by our Social Inclusion Panel which meets quarterly and is chaired by the deputy leader (and housing portfolio holder) of the council. The meeting averages 25 attendees ranging from business representatives to emergency services, health and housing commissioners, people with lived experience of rough sleeping and community organisations and faith based volunteers. They are briefed on MEAM progress, and used to challenge system blocks or barriers that can’t be resolved operationally. In the two years we have worked hard to flex the system, and our next aim as a partnership is to look at how we can make that a more permanent change.