South Yorkshire



Lead partner

Doncaster Council - Complex Lives Alliance


Other Partners

  • St Leger Homes - Single Point of Access
  • Aspire - Specialist Drug & Alcohol Worker
  • RDaSH Community NHS Trust
  • National Probation Service
  • DRASACS - Trauma Worker (Doncaster Rape & Sexual Assault Service)
  • St Leger Homes - Housing Benefits Officer
  • Changing Lives - Amber Outreach (sex worker support)
  • CRISIS Skylight Support Workers
  • DWP
  • Housing Support /Hostel Providers
  • South Yorkshire Police
  • Town Centre Officers
  • Doncaster & Bassetlaw Foundation Hospital Trust
  • Doncaster Alcohol Service
  • Doncaster Mind
  • British Transport Police
  • South Yorkshire CRC

Area Summary

Getting started – partnership, coproduction and defining the problem

In September 2016 the Team Doncaster Strategic Partnership confirmed that work with people with complex lives would be a prototype for the development of a new, integrated delivery model. As this strategic work was developing towards the end of 2016, the extent of street homelessness and rough sleeping in Doncaster became a growing concern for public service partners. This was focused initially around the use of soup kitchen/voluntary food provision and then the emergence of two separate tent protests in the town centre. This highlighted the need to reshape the way we worked and meet the needs of those in this situation.

Designing your intervention

The partnership recognised the response of frontline services was disjointed and driven by the way commissioning had developed over time. To respond to challenges being faced, we needed a fundamentally different approach. A small research project evaluated the costs of the initial group of 57 people with complex lives. This helped make the case for a new delivery model and a ‘whole-system’ approach, underpinned by an integrated, holistic service offer that is person centred and asset based, that emphasises prevention and early intervention and that manages demand through proactively identifying, engaging, supporting and accommodating people with complex lives, allowing them to integrate, over time, into mainstream society.

Sustainability and system change

A specification was produced from September 2016 to June 2017; facilitated by the Innovation Unit, through the development of a series of ethnographic profiles of service users and stakeholder workshops. The team generated a clear picture of those affected, to understand their needs, in order to manage the cases in an effective and joined up way.

The long term vision for the complex lives service model includes:

Operational Features:
• Complex Lives Team – case management capacity
• Complex Lives Asset Menu -
• Doncaster Housing Plus Pathway – accommodation options
• Doncaster Changing Lives Fund
• Prevention and Demand Management

Support/Enabling Features:
• Case Management model
• Outcome Framework and Performance Management
• Developmental Evaluation and Learning Model
• Alliance Governance – to support collaboration.