Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) is a coalition of Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind, formed to improve policy and services for people facing multiple needs. Together the charities represent over 1,300 frontline organisations and have an interest in the criminal justice, substance misuse, homelessness and mental health sectors.
It is estimated that there are 60,000 people across the country with complex multiple needs and exclusions, such as homelessness, substance abuse, contact with the criminal justice system and mental health issues. These people often do not receive appropriate support as the services that exist to address these needs do not consider the multiplicity of their problems.
MEAM asked us to perform an evaluation of three service pilots in Cambridgeshire, Derby and Somerset aimed at coordinating services for adults with multiple needs. We helped MEAM to design an approach to data collection to evaluate the pilots. This involved collecting data from a wide range of public services in the health area to track how the pilots affect the lives of the people with whom they worked. We generated two reports analysing the data that MEAM collected.
Our first report reviewed the operation of the pilots during their first year. This showed how the intervention affected clients’ wellbeing and the changes in their service use as a result of engaging with the pilots after one year. We then produced a second report that presented our findings at the end of a second year. We found continued improvement in outcomes for nearly all clients, and a reduction in the total cost of service use.
The pilots and our evaluation were featured in the Independent on Sunday newspaper. MEAM has gone on to expand the implementation of coordinated interventions across the country. It has developed the “MEAM Approach” to support local areas interested in designing a coordinated response for people with multiple needs.