21 February 2023

The Complex Needs Team have continued to facilitate our well-received workshops – this year so far we have run 3 workshops in Truro, Penzance and St Austell with a further session in Camborne in March.

The workshops have been attended by 43 people from a number of agencies, including:

WAWY, Pentreath, First Light, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Homegroup, Bosence Farm, Cornwall Foundation Trust, Healthy Cornwall, Women’s Centre, Adult Social Care, Children’s Commissioning Team, Social Prescribing, Age UK, St Blazey Town Council.

As always, the workshops were lively, interactive and presented opportunities for attendees to network, gain a better understanding of the Human Learning System and the need for system change and hear from one of our Experts by Experience about their own very personal stories and what  did and didn’t help them when they tried to access help. This element of the workshop is always very impactful and powerful and is usually highlighted as the most effective element of the session. A summary of some of the comments we have received:

“Very Informative and useful to share experiences across services”. “I originally thought complex needs was referring to just SEND people”. “Informative and powerful”.

We also ask colleagues to highlight what is working well in their service regarding collaborative work, what needs to change and what the obstacles are – these anonymised comments are then shared with the Joint Commissioning Group.

We also ask attendees to make a pledge as to something they will do differently in their work place following the workshop, and these pledges are followed up three months later by the Expert by Experience who has presented at the workshop. A sample of some of the pledges are:

“To include more collaboration with public health, Healthy Cornwall and social prescribers”. “Look at our sign up process and building rapport, prioritising this over the ‘process’”. “Look at barriers that could stop people having their say and identify how to support them better”.

What is encouraging about the workshops is that everyone who attends is very positive about the need for collaboration and perceive the main barriers as lack of funding and resource and in some cases organisational red tape/restrictive processes which detracts from a person-centred approach. We also hear some great examples of good practice too.

We will be running more events, particularly workshops targeting commissioners and senior managers. They are proving to be extremely popular and an effective platform for practitioners to challenge their own ways of working as well as identify barriers and solution.

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