Headlines: October 1st, 2009

Care services have been joined up by charities to help vulnerable adults with multiple needs. The Making Every Adult Matter coalition said services often struggled to deal with multiple care needs and failings in the system were causing the inefficient use of public funds and social exclusion.

The coalition, made up of Clinks, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind and supported by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, said vulnerable people with a number of needs faced a combination of issues such as homelessness, substance misuse, poor mental health, learning difficulties, disability, poor physical health, sex working, vulnerability because of age, or a history of offending. The charities have set out a four-point manifesto of steps to improve the way these people are supported.

The manifesto calls for the creation of a framework in which local authorities, criminal justice agencies, health services and the voluntary sector would have to co-operate to solve the problem. The charities also want the next Government to identify people with multiple needs at a local level, to accept the social and economic case for improving care and to measure national progress.

Oliver Hilbery, the MEAM project director, said: “In every local area, councils, services and the police can list individuals who face multiple needs and exclusions by name. But differing priorities and a lack of co-ordination can mean that they are passed from service to service, without ever getting the overall help that they need.”