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Article citation: , (2011) "“Making Every Adult Matter: update on developments", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 4 Iss: 2, pp. -
Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) is a coalition of four national membership organisations formed to influence policy and services for adults facing multiple needs and exclusions. These individuals experience a combination of problems, are poorly served by agencies used to dealing with just one problem at time, and as a result tend to live chaotic and expensive lives. Often each of their needs lies just below the thresholds set for service interventions.
The early work of the MEAM coalition – reported in this journal at the time – focused on policy development. In 2009, MEAM set out a manifesto for government on tackling multiple needs and exclusions. In 2010, it supported the publication of a set of cross-party essays Hardest to Reach? The politics of multiple needs and exclusions and held a round table event with the Institute for government, which was later published as a briefing. This early work provided a sound basis for MEAM’s other main objective – to improve local responses to multiple needs and exclusions among the 1,600 frontline agencies (and their statutory partners) represented by Clinks, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind.
MEAM is currently supporting three pilot “coordination” services in Cambridgeshire, Derby and Somerset. Each low-cost pilot intervention is designed to improve the coordination of existing local service responses for people facing multiple needs and exclusions, improve individual outcomes and deliver better value for money. Each is based on good practice from previous programmes and includes four key elements – coordination, flexibility, consistency and measurement. For example:
Positive results from the pilots and the economic evaluation will further support the case for coordinated interventions to be developed elsewhere, at a time when forward-thinking commissioners, politicians and frontline providers are looking for new ways to provide services to this most excluded group of individuals.
Despite successes at the local level, however, MEAM is aware that coordinated services and improved outcomes for individuals will only become a reality in every local area if there are national as well as local changes. MEAM is, therefore, pleased to be working in partnership with Revolving Doors Agency to develop a Vision Paper for multiple needs and exclusions.
The Vision Paper will look in detail at the top-level actions government and political leaders could take to create an environment in which it becomes much easier – indeed the norm – for all local areas to put coordinated services in place. The paper, which is being developed following broad consultation, will be launched in autumn 2011 and will inform future policy development and campaigning.
If you would like further information on MEAM, the service pilots or the MEAM/RDA Vision Paper please contact MEAM using the details below.
Oliver Hilbery is a Project Director for Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) formed of Clinks, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind and supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Web site: www.meam.org.uk; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org