Bev Firth Lewis, Service Manager and Sean Glover, Team Leader at Accord Recovery Centre (ARC) in Wakefield talk about Payment by Results leading to service re-design and the Accord Recovery Centre in Wakefield
One of the direct changes made to the provision of services due to the Payment by Results pilot in Wakefield was the implementation of the Wakefield Accord Recovery Centre (ARC). ARC built on the existing Wakefield Structured Day Programme to deliver upon the Education, Training & Employment outcomes through consultation with service users, staff, commissioners and Turning Point.
The ARC project set out to achieve the locally agreed metrics for employment, training and education through three areas, each incorporated into daily service delivery. These included:
- Meaningful Activities
- In House Accredited Education
- Externally Accredited Education
Meaningful activities include in house activities in Music, Art, Healthy Lifestyles, Mindfulness and Mutual Aid. With the exception of Mutual Aid and Mindfulness, these sessions were based on the previous service delivery of the Structured Day Programme however they now included clear work schemes for session plans that service users could access, that link with their learning plans. The delivery of the Mindfulness activities required specific staff training to deliver these sessions and this was linked in with the local delivery of Complimentary Therapies. The Mutual Aid group linked in with the local Recovery Reps forum and provided an opportunity to allow service users and the ARC project to be a little more inventive with the provision of such a crucial aspect of recovery work. Alongside semi-structured group therapy sessions based on sharing recovery initiatives, ARC was also able to provide reward days that increased service user engagement and built better group dynamics. These included day trips to various locations and a sports day celebrating the 2012 London Olympics.
ARC developed the provision of In-House Accredited education programmes initially through the recruitment of a Project Worker with a PGCE qualification attached to the role. As a crucial role within the team this individual helped establish the wider timetable of activities, develop the individual learner plans for each service user, develop the in house work schemes for all sessions and ultimately deliver Accredited Education. ARC therefore liaised with Turning Points Learning and Development team to establish itself as a satellite service under the OCN and Open Awards delivering accredited units up to a Level 1 award in English, Maths and ICT. This allows service users to access these units at their own pace and build up accreditations to a nationally recognised Level 1 Award. The service also purchased licences for the BKSB (Basic Key Skills Builder) assessment and diagnostics tool which is utilised to assess and support each individual who accesses the service.
Under the Externally Accredited provision of programmes, Wakefield ARC developed links with both Northern College and a local conservation and employment project called ABLE (Andrew Barker Lepton Employment project). With Northern College, ARC developed a bespoke education programme to provide service users with key skills fundamental to the development of their recovery. This included an Introduction to Education with Northern College, Confidence Building and Self Awareness and Getting Involved in Your Community.
In partnership with the ABLE project, ARC also delivers the Merlin Roundhouse project whereby service users engage in various activities and work to construct an Iron Age roundhouse. This aspect of the project poses great benefits to recovery, teaching service users construction and conservation skills whilst delivering credits towards the ASDAN Activities Award through the completion of workbooks on site.
ARC has recently developed the Employability course delivered in house in partnership with Diverse training. As part of this course service users learn key skills around interview techniques, CV writing and also attend a one day course entitled Employability which is accredited to a nationally recognised Level 1. Service users have the option to attend specific sessions for CSCS (Construction Skills Certificate Scheme) training at ARC and then are taken to a local testing centre and have their assessment subsidised by the ARC service.
ARC continues to receive positive feedback from service users engaged in the service, equipping service users to move forward in developing their recovery capital. The service has grown to provide specific employment, training and education based outcomes for the service users in the district. PbR has given the district clear guidance in terms of service delivery and ARC is a clear demonstration of how to support service users more directly, functionally and provide clear outcomes through engagement with services.
Some of the feedback so far includes:
“I have learned so much on these courses, it is unbelievable what I have achieved so far, and I am proud of myself for doing it”
“I now have a much more well written, visually effective CV with a more professional personal profile”
“All enjoyable, team brilliant, everyone working together and brilliant atmosphere”