Integrated Care? How well services work together for people who access substance misuse and homeless services in Tower HamletsDownload (PDF 1.51MB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets investigated how well the health and social care system works for people who access substance misuse or homelessness services. Between October 2018 and January 2019, Healthwatch Tower Hamlets spoke to 80 service users across 8 services through one to one interviews, focus groups and Enter and View visits.
The report found that although individual services worked well, people reported that the system as a whole was not supportive. This included that service users felts services did not integrate well, especially for those with co-morbidities who found the system difficult to navigate. However, the service users who had a trusting relationship with someone within the system, found that they could rely on them to navigate between wide-ranging services and lead to more positive experiences. Additionally, lack of accurate information and advice about what services are available and how to access them leads to widespread confusion about how services work. It was also highlighted that those without housing found recovery difficult and encountered issues with finding long-term accommodation.
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets made a number of recommendations including that enough flexibility be built into the system to allow service users to self-select their key worker or trusted person and provide the training for staff to fill that role; create and resource a working group of service users to co-design and improve services moving forward; improve signposting to ensure that people are supported to access services, not just pointed in the right direction; support substance misuse service users to access additional support in the evening and outside of regular service hours; and include support and signposting for homelessness and substance misuse services in the role of community navigators at Idea Stores.