DDN November 2017

‘It’s unsurprising that staff are feeling demotivated’

DDN Magazine November 2017

A commissioner said to me this week, ‘We need to know what the evidence is, see good practice, do things like the service user conference. And we need to get the right information out there – like in your magazine – so people can say “oh that’s an interesting, exciting idea”.

I had been focusing on a crisis in the sector, as we all do when faced with the unpalatable truth of worsening DRD statistics and fewer resources. But it made me think that there’s a lot of mileage in partnership working – a phrase so well used that we’re apt to ignore it.

Our cover story (page 6) shows that the glue that holds together successful partnerships is missing in many areas. The pressure of having to do much more with much less can have a damning effect on the imagination and it’s unsurprising that staff are driven into feeling defensive and demotivated. Providers obviously play a central role in turning this around – but is this possible if they’re focused on survival? If the support networks – and the hours in the day – are not there to help them work constructively with commissioners, how is this achievable?

Caroline Cole suggests responding to the challenges by borrowing from the corporate world (page 16), while Robert Mee draws on his personal experience to share how he created his support network for the LGBT+ community on page 12.

And finally, on page 10 we share resources to put this year’s Alcohol Awareness Week campaign into action.

Claire Brown, editor

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