9th March issue

Culture of ideas

Inspiration or madness? Variety is the spice of life!

Looking at our letters page this issue reminds me why I enjoy working on DDN so much. What’s codswallop to one reader is inspiration to the next, and while you might take the view that there’s no pleasing everyone, to me it’s the sign of a healthy pulse. Keep ’em coming! Which brings me to the culture of idea-sharing that runs through this issue.

Sandwell services may have found the prospect of working side-by-side with each other in the same building daunting to begin with. But they are already enjoying the reality of joined-up working – particularly (despite some initial trepidation) with their commissioners.

In Leeds the community drugs services have coordinated their treatment citywide, involving GPs, mental health, housing and employment services and DIP employees, as well as drug workers. They talk about the benefits of listening, learning and sharing best practice – especially with their service users, who can help them get good ideas off the ground quickly.

In Bury the collective vision of a whole raft of family support services is coming to fruition after a challenging pilot, and the positive results are being reflected in a much more cohesive experience for all members of the families they treat – not least the younger ones who would find it difficult to express what they need, but who are responding readily to the more effective outreach.

It’s not easy setting about a joint initiative – the sheer hard work involved comes across in each of the articles, and there must have been times when some participants felt like walking away in frustration. But the benefits in each case have far outweighed expectation, according to each of our regional authors – and that’s worth shouting about.

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