Revolving Doors Manifesto launched
17 April 2015
Today, we publish a new ‘manifesto’, setting out five priorities for an incoming government to improve the lives of some of the most excluded people in society.
Recent research has found a minimum of 58,000 people across England experiencing a combination of homelessness, substance misuse issues and offending at once, usually linked with underlying mental health problems. Our health and welfare systems, designed to tackle one problem at a time, struggle to respond to these multiple and complex needs. Without effective support, people fall into a negative ‘revolving door’ cycle of crisis and crime, causing damage to themselves, their communities, and generating significant costs to the public purse.
With the overall impact of this severe and multiple disadvantage conservatively estimated to cost £10.1 billion a year#mce_temp_url#, the manifesto argues that the next government cannot afford to continue in a situation where shrinking public funds are tied up paying for the consequences of repeated failed interventions. It sets out five priorities, developed in consultation with members of the Revolving Doors National Service User Forum, to achieve a more effective approach:
- A national programme to coordinate better support for people facing multiple and complex needs, which promotes a holistic and person-centred approach in every area and builds on the best aspects of the ‘Troubled Families’ programme
- Earlier identification and diversion into support for people facing mental health problems, extending coverage of mental health liaison and diversion services and expanding access to counselling and mental health services for the most excluded groups
- Effective community-based rehabilitation and reparation for offenders with multiple and complex needs, including developing a distinct approach for key groups such as young adults (18-24) and women offenders
- Improved infrastructure and opportunities for service user involvement, championing a greater role for the most excluded individuals in the commissioning, design, and delivery of the services that they use
- A system that supports long-term recovery, including the journey towards employment including an immediate review of the impact of welfare sanctions on vulnerable groups, and more tailored employment support for people facing multiple and complex needs.
Revolving Doors Agency Chief Executive Christina Marriott said:
“In a period of falling spending and rising demand on our public services, tackling the complex problems faced by individuals caught in this negative ‘revolving door’ cycle must be a priority whoever forms the next government. We cannot continue in a situation where public money is tied up paying for the consequences of repeated failed interventions – the financial, social, and above all human cost of this failure is too great.
We want to see a system where people facing multiple and complex needs are supported by effective, coordinated services in every area, and able to tackle their problems, reach their potential, and contribute to their communities. The evidence shows this could save public money while improving outcomes for some of the most excluded people in our society. We know what works. Now is the time for action.”
The full document is available online here: http://www.revolving-doors.org.uk/documents/rda-manifesto-2015/