Community of Practice
Liverpool Waves of Hope has recently developed a Community of Practice which is being led and facilitated by Liverpool Community and Voluntary Services (LCVS). As part of this, LCVS is facilitating a series of frontline worker events – the first three of these were held in late October 2017, at different locations across the city. There was wide representation from frontline workers and people with lived experience.
The sessions are planned to be a valuable safe space for the views of frontline staff and multiple needs service users to be shared and for key themes to be raised. They also provide a place where frontline staff can input into wider, strategic conversations in order to deliver the best possible services for people in Liverpool. The aim is that the learning directly connects with, and is disseminated to, strategic forums.
Discussions for this first set of initial sessions were structured around:
- What works well;
- What are the barriers to delivering services; and
- Solutions to overcome those barriers.
Key messages included:
- The need for a strategic city lead for multiple needs;
- Front line workers and people with lived experience need a formalised forum to share ideas;
- Staff need to feel valued, supported and enabled to respond to client needs;
- The need to recognise and unpick historical traumas and issues;
- There is a need for clear information on services – what is available and criteria;
- Build multi-agency approaches to service delivery which is fit for all;
- Create protocols for joint working/ data sharing;
- Staff need flexibility to nurture innovation and provide more inclusive support;
- Key areas requiring greater levels of support include accommodation and mental health.
There were also a number of perceived opportunities to support delivery and develop this agenda, including:
- Sharing working protocols including multi-disciplinary assessments, training and shared systems;
- Linking emotional health and physical health interventions and support;
- Co-location of services to develop more integrated services;
- Developing a step-up/step-down approach to meeting needs;
- Creating tiered support packages with a catalogue of options/choice;
- Improving information about local help and support;
- Creating on-line forums where staff can share information, discuss situations and support each-other;
- Delivering ongoing Front Line staff events and Communities of Practice activity;
Whilst much of the above may not be necessarily ‘new’ in terms of what we know, it is important that the messages come from the frontline workers, and that this is the beginning of a process where they are fully engaged in the wider conversations.
Future sessions will be solution focused, revolving around particular themes and the good practice relating to these. The key messages and learning will be posted on the website.