1

Future Pathways uses thorough processes to work out how we can improve, and then show that we have

Learning is absolutely essential to Future Pathways. To do that, we need to be clear about exactly what we are trying to achieve, what we are doing, and what results we are seeing. We track all of our activity and measure how well we’re doing and what we need to improve on using lots of methods.

Future Pathways uses thorough processes to work out how we can improve, and then show that we have

  • Quarterly reports
  • Monthly Key Performance Indicator summaries
  • Regular operational reviews, such as the annual review of work with delivery partners
  • Detailed quarterly returns from partners
  • Using individual reviews, staff reflective logs and observational notes to capture what is happening at the individual level

2

We make changes based on the experiences of people registered with us

In addition to our standard process for gathering feedback, we have carried out several reviews aimed at learning from the people we work with. Some recent improvements that we have made as a result are: 

  • Creating the Practice Learning Manager role 
  • Organising support Coordinators into teams, to encourage peer support, responsiveness and better use of skills
  • Improving guidance to staff about the Discretionary Fund, and Reviewing our decision-making processes 
  • Refreshing our Communications and Engagement Strategy

An example of improvement

Because more people registered with Future Pathways than we had initially expected, a waiting list started to build up. By the middle of 2018 it was over 350 people. This was obviously frustrating for people. 

We realised that we needed to challenge some of the assumptions that we had made when setting up Future Pathways. So we made a concerted effort to contact anyone who had not yet accessed support. (We are able to speak to 251 people out of 363 that were waiting.) 

We learned that most people felt able to have an early, in-depth conversation about their needs (we had assumed that this would not be the case). 

We therefore created a new framework to help guide conversations with people about their safety, existing supports, wellbeing and hopes for the future.

These conversations enabled people to identify their needs, connect with other services, or progress an immediate request. Not everyone required ongoing support.

Then, as our staff numbers increased, we had to consider how we could ensure that support decisions were made consistently.

In 2019, using both the initial work and feedback from survivors and staff, we made further changes. Now:

  • Support Coordinators receive registration calls, and offer conversation about the person’s needs and circumstances from the start
  • conversations are structured around the individual’s wellbeing and safety
  • on registration, all individuals are linked with a small, dedicated team, and told how to contact that team if their situation changes
  • for people aged over 65 or with immediate needs, ongoing support coordination is offered
  • staff are organised in teams of Support Coordinators. Each team is supported by an Administrator and a Practice Learning Manager

We could share our learning more widely

We put a high priority on individual and team learning and we have always been keen to share what we learn. In 2017, we contributed to ‘Beyond Survival: sustaining services, organisations and impact’, a resource for services working with survivors. 

Our researcher presented at the 2019 European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation (ENMESH) conference in Lisbon, Portugal. This looked at the evaluation of mental health services across Europe. 

We could do more. People we work with are clear that they experience persistent struggle in accessing support. They have much to share about their experiences, which would positively contribute to future policy and practice.