Headlines: August 7th, 2000

Initial findings from a study into the ‘revolving doors’ group in society make a strong case for joint action and for making services fit the client, rather than the other way around.Mental health, homeless agencies and the criminal justice system have long known about a small group in society, which is the responsibility of no single agency, but which makes heavy use on its services, without resulting in leaving the group.

In 1990 a sum of money raised by the ITV Telethon was used to commission an investigation into the relationship between the organisations involved with ‘revolving doors’ clients.

It has so far found that this group makes heavy and expensive use of the three services listed above, but fail to be helped by crisis-orientated and short-term interventions.

They also struggle to link their sometimes chaotic lifestyles into taking advantage of a 9-5 service which usually works on the basis of pre-arranged appointments.

The study is particularly examining a Revolving Doors Agency project in Camden and Islington, and examining the impact of a link worker working as an advocate for a person considered as being a member of this ‘revolving doors’ group.

The cost of the link worker will be matched against the costs of the heavy use of service before the scheme, in a fuller report out later this summer.

The study’s interim report is found in the journal Mental Health Review No.7 produced by the Personal Social Services Research Unit and can be viewed in full at www.ukc.ac.uk/pssru/index.html.

For more detail on the Camden and Islington project visit www.revolving-doors.co.uk