A home where you feel safe and happy is crucial to good mental health.
Context and key challenges
Most people we work with can live in their own homes with the right support. The challenge we face is that over time, demand for mental health services is increasing. And as the support needed increases so too does the cost. As the chart below shows, the average weekly cost of Supported Living Placements has risen by 47% over five years.
Even before the current high rates of inflation the cost of services bought when needed (known as spot placements) has been rising.
What we offer
We buy large quantities of supported accommodation services, where people can get help from full or part time support workers whose aim is to help prevent people from relapsing or losing their homes. This can range from a few hours a week helping someone in their own home (for example to help with benefits or ensure medication is taken) to 24-hour specialist supported accommodation for those with greater needs. We’ve just reviewed and updated several of these contracts to get better value for money and invest more into the support needed to keep people in their own homes.
Our Tree House provides 24/7 support for people leaving hospital beds. We also have a range of other supported accommodation. Some of this is 24/7 supported, while others offer visiting support when needed. For example, we have 17 flats, sourced through Thames Reach. which provide homes for people who are ready to move on from hospital and live more independently. We’ve also secured a small number of council flats to be used on a short-term basis for people who are ready to leave hospital but have nowhere suitable to live.
Staying Well now includes a new team that works across primary care (GPs) and secondary care (acute hospitals and other Alliance services such as Living Well Centres, rehabilitation services and the Home Treatment Team) to support more people to live independently in their homes and communities.
We continue to streamline and improve our hospital discharge process to make it easier for someone to go straight into supported accommodation or their own home without having to go through a further assessment. This speeds things up, ensuring people do not stay longer than necessary in an acute ward. It also frees up beds for others who may need them. As an Alliance we meet weekly (and in recent times, daily) to support the discharge of people who remain in an acute hospital bed after they’re clinically ready to be discharged.
In 2022/23 we supported 292 people in crisis to remain at home, The Treehouse worked with 7 people, 6 of whom were sustained in semi-independent accommodation and our Staying Well team supported 48 people to remain well at home while CLASS supported 176 people to be discharged from hospital to more independent accommodation.
This is a particularly difficult area to measure our impact. Whether accommodation is appropriate is largely down to each person’s own perception. We’ve therefore started to ask the people we support this question and will publish the results here in the future.
Case study: Susan
Can you help us?
We have a short survey that anyone who use our services is invited to complete. It will take less than three minutes and will tell us how well we are doing and what we need to improve.