A home where you feel safe and happy is crucial to good mental health.
Context and key challenges
The economic impact of covid and the cost of living crisis means more people are struggling to pay rents and mortgages or have lost that struggle. This would cause stress and anxiety for anyone and can trigger crisis for those with existing mental health issues. We continue to work closely with our providers, colleagues in the Council and the community to maximise the availability of appropriate housing for those with mental illness and to provide practical support for issues such as hoarding.
Even before the current high rates of inflation the cost of services bought when needed (known as spot placements) has been rising. For example, the chart shows that the average weekly cost of Supported Living Placements has risen by 43% over the four years of the Alliance. Though note that this is a combination of rising prices and increased support needs.
What we offer
Many people we work with need support at home; others need to live in places that have either full or part time support provided. Over time, more people need our services, and the average amount of support they need increases as does the average cost.
Supporting independent living
We plan and pay for ‘supported accommodation’ services. These range from a few hours a week supporting someone in their own home (for example to ensure medication is taken) to 24 hour supported specialist accommodation for those with greater needs. We have just reviewed and updated contracts to improve the support provided and make it more relevant to the needs of those we support.
As well as our Tree House 24/7 supported accommodation to ‘step forward’ people from inpatient beds we have a range of services to increase the number of people in stable and appropriate homes. These include 17 BRiL (Brokerage and Resettlement in Lambeth) flats, sourced through Thames Reach, that provide a home for people to live independently with mental health support should they need it.
Staying Well offer
Our exciting new Staying Well offer introduces a team that works across primary care (GPs and community based services) and secondary care (acute beds, Living Well Centres and other Alliance services) to support more people to live independently in their homes and communities.
This is a particularly difficult area in which to measure our impact. Whether accommodation is stable and appropriate is largely down to each person’s own perception, and we have started to ask the people we support this question and will publish the results going forward.
We have streamlined our hospital discharge process to make it easier for someone to go straight into supported accommodation or even their own home without having to go through a further assessment. This speeds up the process, ensuring people do not stay longer than necessary in an acute ward and freeing up beds for others. In 2021/22 47 people went through this process with 32 of them placed in supported accommodation and 13 moving directly to independent housing (including returning to their family home).
Our next steps
We are continuing to work to improve the flow through the Alliance system to ensure that people can move to less restrictive setting (greater independence) as soon as they are able. This includes: reviewing the way we make referral and discharge decisions; identifying and addressing any blockages earlier; improving supported accommodation services, and; developing and expanding our Staying Well offer alongside new roles such as Community Reablement workers, Mental Health Practitioners in GP surgeries and Transitions Workers for children and young people turning 18.
We are also developing a ‘Home First’ pathway from hospital, that will provide ‘wrap around’ holistic support from mental health professionals to support recovery alongside a housing offer or return to your own home. This will make it easier for people to live in less restrictive supported accommodation and have more personalised support
Case study: Mourad, Certitude
Can you help us?
We are introducing a short survey that all those who use our services will be invited to complete (online or on paper). It will take less than 3 minutes and will tell us how well we are doing and what we need to improve. Later this year we will report more detailed information on our service performance and impact and ask you for your views and ideas. Click here if you would like to complete this survey or scan this QR code:
Scan to take a short (less than 3 minutes) service user survey.