Camden Council listens to Service User Group Views

Last week, at the Frontline monthly meeting, Beverly Gachette, the Pathway Strategy and Commissioning Manager from Camden Council, talked about the work being done to the pathway and how recommendations by the group would be implemented.

Camden Council’s Adult Hostels Pathway aims to ensure that vulnerable and homeless people are actively supported to move from a state of homelessness and dependence to independent living and social inclusion.

Over the past year, the council have been working with local service user groups to look at the current pathway model, identifying what works and what needs improvement.

How the Group helped make the changes possible

The Adult Hostels Pathway is adjusted each year, responding to trends identified in the annual Review Refresh and feedback from stakeholders.  Despite frequent adjustments, the basic model has remained the same since it was first launched in 2007. 

​Last year, service users from Frontline and CBUG, supported by VoiceAbility, fedback to the council in a Hostels Pathway satisfaction survey. The survey showed that there was a real need for the basic pathway model to be reviewed. This was to make sure it was fit for purpose and had the capacity to respond to issues that impact homelessness, including. 

  • Funding        
  • The changing face of homelessness
  • Resilience 
  • Increasing complexity of need
  • Move-on challenges

The review was conducted by Camden Commissioners in collaboration with Frontline, CBUG & VoiceAbility over the Summer/Autumn of 2015.

Following analysis of relevant data, face to face meetings with Commissioners from other local authorities and a series of stakeholder focus groups, a report was produced, making recommendations that took account of all feedback received. 

The key theme running through those recommendations highlights increased emphasis on delivering a service that responds to individual need, placing the client at the centre of support provision.  

montage of camden service user group meeting

Listen and Respond

Last week, at the Frontline monthly meeting, Beverly Gachette, the Pathway Strategy and Commissioning Manager from Camden Council, talked about the work being done to the pathway and how the group's recommendations would be implemented.

The changes include but are not limited to:

  1. Converting the pathway stages into a framework for building support around the individual. This, importantly, will mean clients can remain in one hostel for the majority of their pathway journey, or move onto another service as they progress, whichever suits their needs.
  2. Using the Assessment stage as a means to access the pathway for those who are new to the pathway and have unknown support needs. Those who have been in the pathway within the last 12 months can access the pathway at the most appropriate stage.
  3. Longer assessment stage for those with a long history of rough sleeping. Standard assessments take less than 8 weeks. For those who need it, this can be extended to facilitate a thorough assessment of need and developing a trusting relationship with their support worker.
  4. Introducing peer support as early as possible as part of the pathway journey, ideally from assessment to moving onto independent accommodation.
  5. Developing a centralised approach to delivering education, training and employment (ETE) opportunities across the pathway, minimising duplication and increasing choice.
  6. Reinforcing a focus on personal recovery by encouraging service providers to support clients to identify their own Private Rented Sector (PRS) accommodation, with support from peers.
  7. Working with existing peer support agencies to develop a package of move-on-support that will complement the floating support offer, with a focus on minimising isolation.

Next Steps

Camden Council will start phasing in these recommendations from April 2016 and review their effectiveness via the Frontline and CBUG groups.

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