Getting started – partnership, coproduction and defining the problem
West Berkshire have a well-developed strategic partnership that is chaired by the police and overseen by the local council. The wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies that attend our strategic group are mirrored by their counterparts in our operational group. The group has monitored the engagement of the partnership carefully, looking at overlaps and opportunities for joint working. The work began with experts by experience sitting on our board and informing the design of paperwork and we have enlisted the advice of our neighbouring MEAM areas, to look at how to progress further with coproduction.
Designing your intervention
The coordinator post is joint funded by the local authority and police and is working with a small cohort of individuals. Our MEAM cohort was identified by the operational group and considered those who had high levels of service use across a range of services, but little meaningful engagement. We also consider the needs of those whose experience of multiple needs means they are not known to services at all. The coordination work is overseen by the operational group who are developing a person-centred approach and working together to offer flexibility and find creative solutions to system’s blockages.
Sustainability and system change
As a partnership we are considering future funding of the coordinator post and are hoping that this will be pooled between more agencies in the future which will help the work become more embedded. Since the frontline coordination work began we have already seen positive engagement between clients and the MEAM coordinator and improved outcomes for some of the cohort. Adopting the MEAM approach locally has also led to a redesign of the local Homelessness Forum and the allocation of a dedicated social worker assigned to work as a link between the local hostel and adult social care.