Reviewing early intervention and service effectiveness – City of London
Rocket Science was selected to research alternatives to the City of London’s commissioning of early intervention services for residents. The pilot focused on the Portsoken ward (dominated by 2 housing estates) and was intended to inform the Corporation’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy in preparation for their new role in public health. It was also intended to identify ways in which services could be better coordinated and avoid duplication, through person-centred commissioning.
An initial phase involved extensive mapping of and consultation with key stakeholders, from both within and outside the City, to inform our approach for gathering spend and use data. We conducted an extensive desk review of existing public data on the ward, which was updated periodically to reflect new Census data as this became available. NOMIS data was used to analyse deprivation, and how the ward compared to the City, London and UK. Analysis of tenancies showed that the population has remained quite static, in part a consequence of the high level of services provided by the City, but also a reflection of strong cultural ties as residents chose not to move despite highly overcrowded housing conditions. Indicators of health and economic wellbeing were at best static or in decline and, in spite of recent investments in public services in the area, the anticipated improvements to the area were not being realised.
Our research was corroborated by the experiences of residents and users of a range of services, drawn from a series of interviews, mini-focus groups and a survey of providers. Whilst some services were highly valued, they were poorly coordinated and suffered because of low public awareness and insufficient promotion. We presented the findings to both members and stakeholders and ran a consultation process from January through March 2013 in order to co-design recommendations in the light of a number of key policy changes. These included on-going welfare reform – residents were perceived as at risk through digital exclusion, language barriers and the inaccessibility of better paid employment, and consequently the ward continued to have high levels of ‘working poor’; the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 – what added value could be provided through better procurement, and the Localism Act 2011 – how could community empowerment reduce local dependency on public services?
The recommendations from the review which focused on improved asset management and developing community capacity have been adopted in full. Key to the future of the ward is the development of a residents’ and providers’ forum which will become central to the design and commissioning of services. A capacity building programme has been put in place over the next 12 months and an innovative community currency, Time Credits, to transform community engagement from passivity to pro-activity in the design and receipt of services.
“The Portsoken All Ages Early Intervention Review has a compelling vision for the future delivery of services in the area and some very positive recommendations about using our assets more effectively and delivering better health, welfare and employability services.” Neal Hounsell – Assistant Director Commissioning and Partnership.
For more information contact Caroline