Exeter CVS: A health & wellbeing hub to tackle social exclusion in Exeter – A briefing
Exeter CVS in an infrastructure organisation that supports the local voluntary, community & social enterprise (VCSE) sector to meet community needs. Increasingly, our role is to build community resilience and local social action to reduce demands placed on stretched local public services. As such, we work strategically with commissioners to identify priority needs and risks to services, and then work within the VCSE sector to develop sustainable responses.
Our vision is of active communities that are truly alive: informed, engaged and resilient.
Our mission is to awaken the potential within communities by creating and connecting “doers”: people whose passion is infectious and whose actions deliver change.
A recent rough sleeper count  revealed that Exeter has the highest rate of street homelessness (per capita) outside of London. An individual is twice as likely to end up sleeping rough in Exeter as in Brighton. The cost to the public purse of this cohort is significant, and growing – and not only in housing budgets. Pressures on health services, A&E admissions, mental health services and criminal justice services are all increased as a result of the multiple and complex needs that rough sleepers and the vulnerably housed present.
Transformation aspirations for the current system
Extensive consultations with service users, carers, and staff and volunteers from stakeholder services told us that:
· People don’t want to be defined by their use of substances/health status
· They want a service that recognises them as a whole person
· They just want to “tell their story once” – not be “bounced” between services
· They want an integrated package of support – to see people in one place
· People want services that are ambitious for them
· A common culture where recovery is not just the absence of…but about leading a better life
· At present care pathways are not always efficient – people sense there are duplications and delays to be reduced, and cost efficiencies to be found.
Exeter CVS together with strategic partners from Devon Doctors (a social enterprise commissioned to deliver local NHS primary care services to vulnerable groups) and Working Links – now prime contractor to deliver Community Rehabilitation (Probation) Services under the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme – successfully secured capital funding from Public Health England to transform Wat Tyler House into the Exeter Engagement Hub.
The ambition is to create a recovery-focused, co-located and integrated health & wellbeing hub for people with a range of needs and capacities, based around a specialist GP surgery, but also including substance misuse, mental health, and offender management services. The new offer will integrate these services with adult learning, volunteering programmes, housing advice, personal finance & debt management, participation and citizenship programmes to create a ‘wraparound’ offer that better meets the needs of people using the hub, and creates a space for genuine integration of people, resources, expertise and systems within a holistic integrated approach.
Underpinned by Principles of Recovery
The project has a core aim to generate wellbeing and develop recovery capital through:
· Social Capital (networks)
· Physical Capital (resources)
· Human Capital (H&WB personal resources)
A core assumption is that support with life events and movement through personal transitions are the main catalyst for growing recovery capital, and this is needed in different forms depending on whether a person is in crisis, in treatment, in recovery, in transition – sustaining health and wellbeing or moving towards training & employment.
A core feature of the project is the development of Exeter CVS’ offices at Wat Tyler House into an integrated Health and Wellbeing Hub for people with multiple and complex needs.
A Collaborative Community
A core factor in project success is development of a “collaborative community.” This will be formed by interested and motivated representatives from each organisation working through an action research process throughout the duration of the project to co-produce service developments, a new working culture, and to gather evidence of impact to drive and share continuous service and practice improvement.
· To transform the space to being a dynamic, open and accessible working space – focused on recovery and therapeutic movement – where each visitor need only “tell their story once”.
· To map best practice and “what works” in the journey to health & wellbeing and community participation, and to support people in transition and recovery
· To develop a collaborative community where staff and volunteers can explore new ways of working and collaborating for comon and shared benefit
· To use the Five Ways to Wellbeing as organising principles for activities: Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give Back
To develop Wat Tyler House into an Integrated Health and Wellbeing Hub for people with multiple and complex needs; and to develop a collaborative community to co-produce the underpinning culture, structures and processes to deliver an integrated service offer and make the space work as a whole.
Informed by emerging strategies
The project recognises the changing landscape of public service delivery, and is informed by emerging national strategies and practice guidance, including:
· Doing both “catch-up” and “frontier shift” activities as per NHS Five Year Forward View 
· Collective effort rather than solitary endeavour, collaboration to achieve innovation, digital enablement, making best use of tangible and intangible assets, encouragement of meaningful interaction to build capacity and develop communities based on core values of inclusivity, openness and trust to improve outcomes and efficiency of the system overall – Collaborative Economy principles (Nesta 2014) 
· Aligned to the movement toward integrated care – NHS England 
Keep an eye on developments!
We believe the Exeter Wellbeing Hub will offer a transformative model of integrated care and development for one of our most excluded communities, while improving practice & outcomes, and driving efficiencies in public sector spending.
Keep up-to-date as Wat Tyler House is being rebuilt as a local engagement Wellbeing hub
Storify on #ExeterWellbeing Hub [29/07/15…and regularly updated!]
Storify on #ExeterCoLab [01/11/15]