Exploring what matters to people facing multiple and complex needs
Four of us from the IF Group woke up at 6am to get the early train to London. We have started attending the quarterly meetings held by Revolving Doors. There are representatives from Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. This is nothing to do with the Fulfilling Lives project but our aims are the same. We get together to discuss policies and procedures set out for those with multiple and complex needs.
With the Election coming up – we turned our attention to coming up with a cross party Manifesto to present to Parliament. The group is diverse and this meeting was nothing different. Yet when we have to agree on basic principles which we would like to prioritise, we came up with a strong distinct voice.
We are building on what we already have – yet we would like to see waiting times reduced, crisis services improved and expanded pooled budget and approaches for those with complex needs. It is clear that we would like better community based rehabilitation for offenders with multiple needs.
It seems evident that service users are now being taken more seriously – we are being listened to and heard. We are seeing actions taken as a result of our recommendations. This being so, we all agreed that we would like more opportunities for ‘expert citizens with experience’ to access paid work. We even went as far as to say that we would like ALL services to have at least one service user in management – being part of the design, delivery and evaluation of services.
Supporting long-term Recovery is also seen as a priority. We see a lot of services for those in early days of treatment – but as many of us have experienced, problems arrive after a year or when starting work or a new relationship.
In Bristol the IF Group are helping the Recovery Forum to develop and put together a HUB designed for those in Recovery – this is great and very exciting as we are all given a chance to contribute ideas on how we would like that to look like. We will keep you posted, but it would be a leap forward to see all towns to provide more services for abstinence or long term recovery.