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Agenda item


To update the Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Committee on the work of Blackpool Fulfilling Lives (BFL) and on the work being undertaken by the BFL Strategic Board to effect systemic change in Blackpool for people with Multiple Disadvantages.



Mr Ian Treasure, Partnership Manager, Blackpool Fulfilling Lives (BFL) provided an overview of the work of BFL highlighting that it was a seven year research project being carried out in 12 areas of the country. The aim of the project was to gather a national evidence base in order to identify what worked when trying to help and support people with multiple disadvantages.


The funding for the project would end in March 2021 and it was reported that the project could not continue in its current form after that date. As a result staff members were already leaving for alternative roles and the service provision must be reduced to Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm to ensure a safe level of staffing. In excess of 500 people in Blackpool had been supported by the project out of an estimated 1,200-1,800 people considered to have multiple complex needs.


In response to questions Mr Treasure advised that the intended legacy of the project was to embed work within mainstream services. To that end, BFL staff were providing training to colleagues within Adult Social Care and Probation Services in order to share learning. The Lived Experience Team had also provided training to Job Centre staff to demonstrate how a different approach to support could have more positive outcomes for people with multiple disadvantages.


Members raised concerns that the cessation of the project would leave a number of people with multiple disadvantages without the support they required. Mr Treasure acknowledged that there would be changes and challenges as a result of those changes. He advised that the challenge would be to learn from the evidence based built by the project and the successes that it had achieved. Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health added that it was acknowledged that services would need to be put in place to address the gap left by Fulfilling Lives and that conversations would be ongoing with partners to determine how to address the gap. Furthermore it was noted that the project had an annual budget of £1.5 million, but that a large proportion of the funding was due to the high level of independent evaluation required, without the evaluation, similar projects could be supported for much smaller levels of funding.


It was reported that 46% of clients had achieved stable accommodation and that the majority of the clients had been able to sustain tenancies. There had been some issues, however, clients were only supported into attaining accommodation once it was considered they would be less likely to fail. Mr Treasure added that as of 31 December 2019 no new clients were being taken on by Fulfilling Lives due to the identified project end date.


The Committee noted that the Council Plan for 2019-2024 highlighted the work of Fulfilling Lives and queried what the Council intended to achieve from 2021-2024 once the project had concluded. In response, Dr Rajpura highlighted the continued budget cuts and noted that the funding agreement of Fulfilling Lives prohibited the same project being delivered, however, he noted the success of the project and the vulnerable people with multiple disadvantages still requiring assistance and commented that he was hopeful that the partnership could identify suitable support going forward. He also highlighted the ongoing work of the Lived Experience Team in working with partners to co-produce mainstream services.


The Committee agreed that a further report on the conclusion of the Fulfilling Lives project be received in approximately 12 months alongside a report from the Council detailing services to be put in place to fill the gap left by the end of the project.

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