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Commissioning Together

Commissioning Together is a three-year project supported by the City of London Corporation's charity, City Bridge Trust.

The work involves offenders and ex-offenders in the service commissioning process in the London boroughs of Wandsworth and Barking & Dagenham.

Its aim is to improve health and reduce reoffending for this excluded group through more effective integration of services and improved pathways in the community.

Through Commissioning Together we’re joining up local services in new and better ways

The project looks at a familiar problem in a different way by bringing together those with lived experience of the Revolving Door with commissioners from health, housing, social care and criminal justice agencies. We look at real-world needs and existing services to co-produce solutions that offer more effective joined-up responses to those with multiple and complex needs.

Parliament

Sharing our learning

Revolving Doors project staff and participating commissioners have presented findings of the Commissioning Together project at several conferences. These include the National IOM Conference in 2016, to an audience of commissioners from across the country, and a conference on service user involvement led by AVA (Against Violence and Abuse).
We have also shared learning from the project with the Home Office Drug Strategy team, who also sent team members to shadow project staff to learn more about service user involvement and peer research.

Our Impact

Commissioners in Wandsworth and Barking & Dagenham are using the insight gained from our peer research in the strategic needs assessments refresh for the 2017-2020 commissioning cycle. There is also clear evidence of improved local services and service pathways:

  • In Wandsworth our work resulted in a new criminal justice pathway for individuals with mental health needs, improved transitions between services, the secondment of a mental health practitioner and redesign of the personality disorder pathway.
  • In Barking and Dagenham, our peer research findings have strengthened co-commissioning of substance misuse and domestic abuse, driving the development of a new substance misuse specification that requires providers to address the needs of survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Individuals involved in the project gained new skills and confidence. The project has supported their individual recoveries from problems, such as substance misuse and mental ill health, and their engagement in and commitment to their local communities.

What people have said

"I found out about Revolving Doors through a friend and got involved in the peer research project in Wandsworth as I wanted to try and change the system and help others avoid the pitfalls I had experienced. I am also currently volunteering as a support worker to pass on my experience and skills to others. I want to share my experiences and influence services so that other people don’t have to go through what I went through."

I HAVE HAD NUMEROUS EXPERIENCES WITH DRUG SERVICES, CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM.

Richard - Service User

"I would encourage any commissioner to work with this project if they have the opportunity. It was impossible to know how it would all turn out in Wandsworth, but my first thoughts were that this idea had great potential. We were used to working very productively with Service Users who have over a number of years been meaningfully involved in procuring services. ‘Commissioning Together’ though meant that they would acquire skills and knowledge which would enable them to add greater value to the process and work with confidence in what can be a daunting environment.

I was really pleased to see that a good core group stuck with the training and were still there at the end. I have been impressed with the quality of the work, the clarity of their findings and as much as anything else the obvious effect the programme had on their confidence and self-esteem.

The group have worked with me to try and improve a specific aspect of our Integrated Offender Management Programme. Whilst the option was there to design and buy in a new support service the recommendations laid out a number of ways which would improve what we already had in order to fulfil the identified need. The recommendations are being implemented in full and have saved a significant amount of money at the same time.

My hope and ambition is now that we can continue to work with some more all of the group into the future."

THE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED IN FULL AND HAVE SAVED A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MONEY AT THE SAME TIME.

Stephen Hughes - Criminal Interventions Manager, Community Safety Division Wandsworth Council