Together to receive share of £5.5 million from Department of Health to develop innovative residential service

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Together is to receive up to £210,363 over three years from the Department of Health (DOH) to support the development of its innovative personalised residential service for individuals with complex needs.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, announced the Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund awards 2013-2014 at the Innovation Expo this month. Together applied for and was awarded funds to develop innovative approaches to health and wellbeing that build and strengthen people’s choice and control over their own support.

Together will use the funds to develop a service that brings personalisation into a residential setting for individuals with ‘high-level’ support needs. These might be people experiencing mental health issues who also have additional complex needs such as substance misuse issues, learning difficulties or a history of offending. The service aims to provide these individuals – many of whom are returning to their communities from ‘out-of-area’ high and medium secure placements – a clear path of progression from 24-hour residential support to independent living.

Using a personalised approach, key elements of  the service include: an offer of peer support, psychological therapies and a ‘recovery voucher’ system whereby service users use vouchers to plan and book specific activities or time with staff to fulfil goals within their personal recovery plan. This system aims to prepare individuals to progress to the use of a personal budget when living independently.

The service is currently being piloted and will be rolled out nationally across Together’s residential projects – the DOH funding will allow 6 of these sites to be evaluated, measuring the effectiveness of the new service, in order to inform its future development. Part of the award will be used to fund a new Development Manager Post to lead and co-ordinate this process.

Liz Felton, CEO at Together said: “These vital funds will support us to develop a service that offers greater choice and control to individuals who have mental health problems and additional complex needs – a group often overlooked by both society and health and social care services.

“We want to support these individuals to increase their confidence and capacity to take control of their own mental health and wellbeing, so that they can eventually manage their lives independently in their local communities”.