Getting started - partnership, coproduction and defining the problem
Before joining the MEAM Approach network, partnership working was already strong in North Lincolnshire, however we recognised that there are many different multi-agency groups working on similar issues and with similar people. We joined the MEAM Approach to help us look at how we can create more efficiency and effectiveness through these various groups, and how we can address some of the systemic issues each of these groups are facing. Through the MEAM Approach, we also welcome the opportunity to rejuvenate our user involvement opportunities for people with lived experience of multiple needs.
Designing your intervention
When we joined the MEAM Approach network, we were able to use existing resource within the local authority to fund a coordinator post that currently works with eight people. These eight people were agreed through the existing complex case panel, which has become our operational group. Through this multi-agency meeting we have already seen increased flexibility in responses as services have agreed to try different approaches. For example, clients have been given renewed housing offers, restrictions on rent arrears have been lifted, the drug and alcohol team have given bespoke support offers and we have worked closely with probation to avoid unnecessary recalls to prison.
Vision for sustainability and system change
Our work so far has had an operational focus, ensuring that frontline workers understand and are on board with the MEAM Approach and our expectations for this client group. Our focus over coming months is on building a strong strategic partnership to embed the changes we are creating at an operational level, and to look at ways that we involve the voice of lived experience in this partnership. Becoming a MEAM Approach area has already helped us strengthen our expectations around responses to multiple needs in two major tenders, and we have committed to continue this in future commissioning processes.