Complex Dependency Legacy

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The Cheshire and Warrington Complex Dependency Programme was set up in 2015 following a successful bid for £5m Transformation Challenge Award funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

The overall aim of the Complex Dependency Programme was to improve how services across the sub-region (Cheshire East Council; Cheshire West and Chester Council; Warrington Borough Council and Halton Borough Council) were managed and delivered to better identify and support families and individuals with complex needs. The programme looked at improving preventative work to help families and vulnerable adults avoid reaching crisis point, as well as services providing effective crisis management for those that are already at that point. Ecorys were commissioned in autumn 2015 to provide an independent evaluation of the Complex Dependency Model which can be accessed here.

The five programme elements and key successes are:


1. An Integrated Front Door

  • Well embedded front doors across the sub region providing single point of contact for professionals.
  • Integrated and co-located teams comprising of a range of agencies.
  • Improved access and information sharing to support an effective triage and allocation process for referrals for families and individuals with complex needs.
  • Most successful partnerships and practice demonstrated through seconding professionals to co-locate in front door teams.

2. Locality Case Management

  • Most successful partnerships and practice demonstrated through seconding professionals to co-locate in locality case management teams.
  • Increased awareness amongst agencies of early intervention and key agency roles.
  • Effective caseworker allocation through review of front door triage and referral recommendations.

3. Joint Commissioning

  • Commissions that responded to specific issues have proven to be extremely effective i.e. Domestic Abuse.
  • Range of pilots across the sub region delivered demonstrating improved consistency in service responsiveness, particularly involving the Police.
  • Work to date has paved the way for future joint commissioning that continues to reduce fragmentation.

4. Benefits Realisation and Performance Management

  • Embedded consistent approaches and standardisation of process and performance measures across the sub region.
  • Improved efficiency and reduced requirements for performance data across partners.
  • Increased awareness amongst stakeholders about effective ways to monitor and review new practices within services.
  • Improved information sharing across the sub region.
  • Programme management critical to facilitating and enabling areas to come together and translate local developments into sub regional arrangements.
  • Learning good practice from other areas.

5. Workforce Development, Engagement and Communication

  • A comprehensive programme to support partner agencies within integrated front doors to understand processes and embed joint protocols.
  • Jointly commissioned workforce training across Halton and Warrington Borough Councils to embed skills and knowledge for early help.
  • Stakeholder events effective in promoting benefits of cultural change in integrated working and mainstreaming early prevention practice.