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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

£10m to connect birmingham services for vulnerable adults

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is part of a project which support adults with multiple and complex needs in the West Midlands which is receiving a share of £112m from the Big Lottery Fund.

BVSC is leading a consortium of local organisations, including the Trust, and has received £9,950,000 to develop connected services for adults struggling under a heavy load of severe problems including homelessness, reoffending, substance misuse and mental ill-health.  

Historically, support for the estimated 60,000 adults across England with multiple and complex needs has been difficult to access and incoherent, leading to an avoidable downwards spiral of ill health and social deprivation. Those affected can become increasingly ill, dependent on state support and the health service and in some cases can even die in tragic and unnecessary circumstances.

The funding over eight years will bring services together to provide tailored support, transforming the way services are delivered, with the focus being on people with entrenched needs who are experiencing at least two of the following: homelessness, reoffending, problematic substance misuse and mental ill health.

In Birmingham some 1,300 people require specialist support at any one time. BVSC is the lead organisation in a collaboration comprised of service providers, agencies and strategic partners who are developing a new, more effective approach to meeting the needs of those who require support and help. Developing the programme plan, BVSC worked with numerous organisations plus a group of ‘Experts by Experience’ - people who have or have had complex needs.
Birmingham’s approach to providing the support necessary is to engage a network of local service providers as a ‘toolkit’ to be accessed by Lead Workers who will navigate users of the programme to the organisations most useful to them. For those needing the highest level of support, Peer Mentors will provide additional one-to-one counselling from a point of personal experience.

The team will use its experience and understanding of the issues contributing to and resulting from multiple and complex needs to identify those at risk, most marginalised and most in need of support, enabling early diagnosis, early intervention and the best possible support and assistance.

With an overall aspiration to enable those people affected by multiple and complex needs to achieve their aspirations and lead fulfilling lives, the programme will also be providing routes into volunteering, training, employment and self employment and helping users to engage with positive peer networks.

Even after the initial provision of direct help, staff and volunteers will continue to support users to help ensure their new, increasingly independent lifestyle becomes permanent.

BVSC CEO, Brian Carr said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for key service delivery organisations in Birmingham to work together to make their excellent services even more accessible and well-connected.  Most importantly, our partnership has been and will continue to be strongly guided by Experts by Experience – the local service users and ex-service users who really know what will make the best and biggest difference to the lives of people with multiple and complex needs. We see a future in which, through improved agency coordination and more intelligent commissioning of services, there is truly ‘no wrong door’ for service users to walk through.”

Find out more about Supporting People with Complex Needs in Birmingham.