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Short-term results at the expense of long-term needs


This week clients of our Mentoring & Befriending service met together on zoom for a very emotional meeting to talk about their concerns and vexations regarding the end of the project. We were informed a few months back that the service was to be re-commissioned. And indeed it has. From the 1st April a new provider will deliver a new Mental Health service which is not unlike the current one in many ways. We realise that often these kinds of projects are time limited due to funding availability, and that sometimes they develop into something else. However, our service users this week made some very valid points about the impact of sudden changes to services, and the equally important impact of not being able to have a say in how these changes take place, and the fact that their mental health doesn’t fit neatly into chunks of time to suit service needs. Service users mentioned that their anxiety is now heightened, they are not sure if they will continue to be supported by the organisation, and why if services are meant to be co-produced were they not involved.  They also said they need continuity of service, of support workers, a choice in who they want to help them, opportunity to be part of their support plan. These are very valid comments and ones which Brent Thrive want to present to commissioners and service providers so that any service changes in future fully consider the impact on the end user.  See our Brent Thrive report on the value of a service-user lead initiative brining about positive change.