Services continue to feel cuts pain  

VivEvansNearly 60 per cent of residential treatment services have reported a decrease in funding to the Recovery Partnership’s latest State of the sector report, along with nearly 40 per cent of community services. Just ten and eleven per cent respectively reported an increase, the document states.

Produced by Adfam, the report is based on an online survey and telephone interviews carried out in the last quarter of 2015, with more than a quarter of all services reporting an increase of ten per cent or more in the number of clients accessing them. Meanwhile, 44 per cent had been through either tendering or contract re-negotiation in the previous year, and half expected to do so in the year ahead.

A fifth of respondents felt that access to mental health services and/or housing support had worsened, suggesting that ‘better joined-up support for people with dual diagnosis and multiple and complex needs’ was necessary, the report states. Just under 70 per cent reported actively recruiting ex-service users as paid employees, while almost all said they recruited them as volunteers.

More than half also felt that funding changes had had a negative effect on both workers’ caseloads and workforce development, and more than 40 per cent said there had been a negative impact on core services. However, ‘passion, innovation and resilience’ remained evident despite the challenges, the report stresses. The report revealed a system ‘struggling to support some of our most vulnerable citizens’, said Adfam chief executive Vivienne Evans. ‘It provides vital intelligence on how services are coping, or not coping, and contains worrying findings on the impacts of funding changes to the delivery of core services. As ever, highly committed staff and innovative practice were also uncovered.’

State of the sector 2015 at