Our new report, published today, details how 27 UK local authorities and health and social care partnerships who are part of the Community Led Support Programme have built strong relationships with their communities to improve the speed and effectiveness of support and care available within their local communities.
Whilst the report data was compiled in the 18 months leading into lockdown in March 2020, many of those organisations have stated that without the programme they would not have been able to move as quickly in collaborating with their health and community partners in responding to the current crisis.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve heard how many of the CLS building blocks of strength-based approaches, a culture of trust within and across organisations and minimal bureaucracy is now paying dividends”.
CLS members have shared that:
“It is supporting resilience”; “The existing relationship with the community has been really helpful in this crisis”; “Community groups are already connected through CLS, so we’ve done some great groundwork”.
Now in its 5th year, the success of the growing programme is its unique ability to work in partnership with and respond to the needs of the community. Whilst each local authority operates the programme under a set of shared principles, how these are used to develop the supports and services needed in their community can look very different for each area. However, based on the evaluation evidence, the report shows there are 10 key ingredients for this to work well, including; Working with the community to build a shared picture of what good looks like, A commitment to changing culture and practice, Nurturing the right kind of leadership and Adapting to ongoing changes.
The ongoing challenge is to recognise that during this crisis, bureaucracy has been minimised in order to work closely with community organisations and health partners to put the needs of individuals first. This report demonstrates that for 27 areas, this approach is already part of a longer-term strategy, beyond the current crisis, which is building new relationships and a stronger set of social care supports and services for our communities.
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