The MEAM Approach

The MEAM Approach helps local areas design and deliver better coordinated services for people experiencing multiple disadvantage. It’s currently being used by partnerships of statutory and voluntary agencies in 21 local areas across England.

MEAM Approach areas consider seven principles, which they adapt to local needs and circumstances. We provide hands-on support to the local partnerships as part of this process.

The MEAM Approach Partnership, coproduction and vision Consistency in selecting a caseload Coordination for clients and services Flexible responses from services Service improvement and workforce development Measurement of success Sustainability and systems change
Partnership, coproduction and vision
Consistency in selecting a caseload
Coordination for clients and services
Flexible responses from services
Service improvement and workforce development
Measurement of success
Sustainability and systems change

To date, MEAM Approach areas have secured £1.3m of local funding to support their work. MEAM Approach areas that conducted evaluation report an average 23% reduction in wider service use costs and a 44% improvement in wellbeing.

In this video, you can hear about the MEAM Approach from people we have worked with in local areas across England.

How does the MEAM Approach work?

Getting Started

The work starts with partnership, coproduction and vision - getting the right providers from different sectors, commissioners and people with lived experience around the table to agree a shared understanding of the problem and a vision for the whole area.

Areas then make sure there is a consistent approach to identifying who to work with - designing referral processes that allow agencies to jointly agree the caseload.

We've got community safety, the police, we've got health, we've got some alcohol nurses from the local hospital... we've got the ambulance service involved, housing providers, local landlords, we've got mental health involved as well as substance misuse. We wanted the right people around the table and we wanted their services to benefit from being around the table.

Service Design

Most areas invest in some form of 'hands on' coordination, providing a single trusted point of contact for people.  These practitioners need the right set of skills, a remit to move across organisational boundaries, and the time to work in a way that suits each individual.

Local agencies need to provide flexibility - a managerial mandate for the coordinator and a commitment to doing things differently.  They achieve this by meeting regularly at 'operational' and 'strategic' groups.

Areas then explore any gaps that remain in service provision.

I think [the cooridinator] needs to be able to listen, that's the most important things, and also be able to work with different organisations, and across boundaries so that they can access GP surgeries and to do that sort of thing.  I would say that she is the perfect person to do the job.  She is bubbly, she makes me feel like I matter, and that is something that is very special.  And that's a gift.

Sustainability

If new ways of working are going to last, areas need to measure the impact they are having.

They can then work to create systems change so that services work better for people facing multiple disadvantage in the future.  We help areas to make the case for longer-term change and investment, oftern using pooled budgets.

We have recommissioned the drug and alcohol system over the last couple of years.. It has enabled us to ... say ... we not only want you to be thinging about drug and alcohol issues of an  individual, we want you to think about the wider case management.  And you need to be integrating much more, and working differently.