Partnership case study: ‘Mental health floating support’ by Friendship Care and Housing

We support individuals in recovery to maintain and improve their mental health and physical wellbeing. We support them to maintain their tenancies and enhance or develop daily living skills, in order to maximise their independence and resilience in their homes and within their communities.

Our challenge

The Birmingham Public Health Information Team and Planning Strategy report indicates that there is a prevalence of deprivation in health and socio-economic factors that are significantly impacting on individuals with disabilities in Birmingham wards. We focus services in the areas where quality of life is significantly impacted by disability and socio-economic factors.

The service is an integrated preventative support service, to provide localised support to vulnerable people. We help them to maintain their tenancies and enhance or develop daily living skills in order to maximise their independence and resilience in their homes and within their communities. This helps mitigate the need for higher cost care and interventions from statutory services such as housing, policing, probation services, and health – from admission to A&E, through urgent Psychiatric admission and successful management of chronic conditions.

The service provides a pathway into localised support services and agencies, and bridges the access gap by working directly with individuals and gateway services (who facilitate access to other services) that can help to address social, economic, emotional, health and housing needs.

Our solution

This initiative provides Floating Support in people’s own homes and a range of supported accommodation to meet people’s needs.

All of our services support individuals to develop daily living and social skills to enable them to sustain their wellbeing and their tenancy. Where possible, we seek to facilitate move-on through our supported living services into independent tenancies, through the local authority, social landlords, and private sector landlords and letting agents.

A benefit of partnership working is that we are able to identify individuals in need of support and provide intervention prior to their needs becoming substantial or critical. The service provides a continuum of support (as little or as much as they need) to enable individuals to engage with services that can help to improve their health and wellbeing. Issues which arise frequently are housing, welfare and substance misuse. In addition to support in these specific areas, we provide a range of Public Health and lifestyle services.

Our internal performance indicators evidence successful outcomes supporting individuals to:

  • minimise debt
  • prevent homelessness and loss of tenancies
  • reduce or avoid hospital admissions
  • reduce or stop offending behaviours
  • improve physical and mental health
  • secure suitable accommodation

Our impact

In line with our commissioning requirements and our own internal Key Performance Indicators, we currently provide quarterly monitoring reports on the following areas. 

  • number of referrals
  • sign on with GP and/or dentist
  • number of people successfully completing a package of care and support
  • number of tenancy losses, evictions, and abandonments
  • number supported to access voluntary work
  • number supported to access education and/or training
  • number of void accommodation units
  • number of support hours delivered
  • capacity available

In the future we will continue to produce:

  • quarterly monitoring reports
  • undertake benchmark exercises 

The service has successfully supported service users to achieve the following outcomes:

  • 97% to maintain their tenancies
  • 90% to improve and maintain health and wellbeing
  • 92% to access primary health care services
  • 98% to manage risk in their homes and the community
  • 81% help with budgeting, managing finances, reducing debt
  • 96% to register with a GP and/or dentist
  • 73% to access volunteering
  • 83% to access social or leisure activities
  • 93% of the people who required support to access suitable independent accommodation, to submit appropriate housing applications

Our partners

The service works in partnership with a range of statutory, non-statutory, voluntary, third sector, landlord and community-based services through a range of multi-disciplinary approaches and localised joint working arrangements. This enables agencies to form effective working relationships by identifying the roles and responsibilities of each partner, minimising duplication of support and maximising skills, experience and resources. Our ultimate aim is to provide a holistic and seamless package of support to meet the needs of the individual. This approach is cost effective, since it avoids duplication of services and reduces the reliance of service users on more expensive statutory services. 

We await the outcome of a partnership bid with MIND and R&J to provide a citywide Mental Health Floating Support service with a range of Supported Accommodation options across Birmingham.

Our role

The quality of housing and the living environment has a significant impact on a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. Our organisation provides well-maintained accommodation in accordance with Better Homes Standards with cyclical maintenance plans and contracts in place to ensure properties are effectively maintained.

Our supported accommodation provides a safe and protected environment where we are able to support individuals to learn how to identify and manage risks.

We also support individuals to:

  • register with GP and/or Dentist
  • develop cooking and healthy eating skills
  • reduce or minimise debt
  • access lifestyle services, such as support to quit smoking
  • maximise income
  • access education and training
  • access paid or voluntary work

Our contribution to improving health

Our services support people with mental health needs and/or learning disabilities to live healthy and independent lives.

We believe this project addresses NHS outcomes, enhancing quality of life for people with long-term conditions 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4.

We support people to access primary and secondary care services and provide personalised support to enable individuals to develop daily living skills, social networks and coping mechanisms, to maximise their independence, manage and improve their health and wellbeing. This addresses helping people to recover from episode of ill health 3.1, and 3.3.

We support people recovering from mental illness to engage with services and treatment and to manage the risks and triggers that can affect their mental wellbeing appropriately. In turn, this reduces the frequency of hospital admissions and supports people to maintain their recovery after discharge: treating and caring for people in a safe environment and protecting them from harm.