Local Area Coordination

What is Local Area Coordination?

Local Area Coordination is a long term, integrated, evidence based approach to supporting people with disabilities, mental health issues, older people and their families/carers to:

  • Build and pursue their personal vision for a good life
  • Stay strong, safe and connected as contributing citizens
  • Find practical, non-service solutions to problems wherever possible
  • Build more welcoming, inclusive and supportive communities

 Therefore it is about:

  • Preventing or reducing demand for costly services wherever possible
  • Building community capacity and resilience
  • Supporting service reform and integration, having high quality services as a valued back up to local solutions

 This reflects the direction of the Care Act (2014) and will support Suffolk County Council to meet the requirements of the new legislation, in particular to: Prevent – Reduce – Delay

What does Local Area Coordination do?

Currently service provision can be complicated and difficult to navigate.

Local Area Coordinators help things to be simpler and for people to be in control by:

  • Supporting individuals (across age groups and service types) and their families – a whole of family approach
  • Combining a range of traditionally separate roles to provide a single point of contact across service types and age groups – a focus on people, not labels
  • Becoming the new “front end” of the service system – not waiting for crises

They support individuals and families to:

  • Access information in a variety of ways that are useful
  • Be heard, in control and make choices
  • Identify their personal strengths, goals and needs
  • Find practical (non-service) ways of doing the things they want or need to do - reduce demand
  • Develop and use personal and local networks – reduce isolation
  • Plan for the future
  • Connect with, be part of and contribute to local community life
  • Access support and services if required – services in the right place at the right time

 They also work alongside the local community to:

  • Understand, nurture and share the gifts, strengths and opportunities of the community
  • Build partnerships for a more welcoming and inclusive community
  • Build a positive vision and action for our communities

Local Area Coordination will support people:

  • To build their own, their family’s and community’s resilience and reduce the need for services whenever possible (capacity building)
  • At risk of crisis or dependency of services to build resilience in their local communities through the development of networks and local solutions, therefore eliminating or reducing the need for formal services (prevention and demand reduction)
  • Already dependent on services to build personal connections, community contribution, reducing reliance on formal services

 How do we know Local Area Coordination works?

 Over the past 27 years, there have been many evaluations that show, where it is designed properly with local people and there is strong, connected leadership there are very consistent positive outcomes.

These include:

  • Derby City diverted costs/savings of £800k in first 12 months in 2 locations whilst operating at 40% capacity
  • Thurrock Council found reductions in referrals/visits to GP, A&E, adult care, mental health and safeguarding services; avoided housing evictions
  • Reduced dependence on day services and better health outcomes
  • Costs 35% lower compared to non Local Area Coordination areas
  • People supported to find local, low cost/no cost solutions
  • Preventing more expensive out of home/area/placements
  • Increased valued, informal, support relationships – reducing isolation
  • Service integration and co funding
  • Increasing capacity of families to continue in caring role
  • Improved access to information
  • Better resourced communities
  • Improved access to specialist services
  • Support into volunteering, training and employment
  • Preventing crises through early intervention
  • Changing the balance of care to the use of more informal supports and diverting people from more expensive services