Monday, 21 April 2014

Hitting the target

Following much speculation about a move to ‘payment by results’ within the Supporting People programme, Birmingham Council has just introduced a performance-related model.

To be piloted over the coming year, it is a major change for support providers in the city, which means we will have to produce evidence of outcomes for every customer we work with. Each customer will have at least five outcomes, two of which are mandatory, one service-specific and two that people will choose when they access services.

Trident Reach works with a broad range of people accessing Supporting People services - homeless people, young people, people with learning disabilities, families experiencing domestic abuse and older people. We provide services to more than 800 people and employ 142 staff across Birmingham.

Currently support providers are paid per hour of service delivery - our output - but now we will be paid in relation to the result for customers, for what they have personally achieved, from maintaining a tenancy to accessing meaningful activities, such as gaining employment or workplace training.

We already measure our impact on a national database so, for us, this payment-by-results system gives us a framework to something we already do. But the pilot phase will be a challenge as, to fit in with the new system, we will have to ensure that support is targeted to achieve the outcomes outlined for each individual accessing our services.

The new payment model ensures all providers have to work on achieving the same type of results. The challenge for us, as providers, is to ensure the variety of services we offer people remains available. We have to be careful we don’t lose the holistic approach to supporting individuals as we prove the worth of the programme in a climate of huge cuts to social care and local authority budgets.

Overall, I believe it is a positive step which we support. It brings a level of integrity to what we do, makes things simpler and gives greater clarity for the customer and service provider. It takes a localised approach, focusing on what each person has achieved, to demonstrate the benefits of what we do for individuals and the wider community.

It may also provide a vision of the future for support providers working across the UK.

Dominic Bradley is charity lead at Trident Reach

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

More Newsletters



  • We can save you money


    You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to see the benefits of more integrated health and housing services. But social landlords still need to prove they can deliver results to get a slice of £3.8 billion of government funding. Lydia Stockdale reports

  • Renting reform

    23 May 2013

  • Multi purpose


    Social housing providers have a role in state, market and community and shouldn’t have to choose between them

  • Career combinations


    Housing professionals need a wider set of skills than ever before to develop their careers, an exclusive new survey reveals. So do staff believe they are getting the opportunities they desire?

  • Facing up to homelessness and gender

    4 March 2014

    Homelessness is sometimes as much about gender as it is about poverty, argues Heather Spurr


  • Getting connected


    Student@Home has discovered the mutual benefits of one-to-one IT training for social tenants. Kate Youde investigates

  • Learning on the job


    After realising the potential of external mentoring schemes, A2 Dominion has taken the idea in-house to train up employees who have the potential to be future leaders. Kate Youde reports

  • Fighting back


    As the private rented sector continues to grow, so does the number of problematic landlords. Michael Pooler finds out how tenants are taking matters into their own hands to fight for better conditions

  • The key to recovery


    Can living in general needs homes give drug and alcohol abusers a better chance of recovery? Caroline Thorpe reports on the three-year pilot study in Northamptonshire that tried to find out

  • Making an impact


    Innovative landlords should not ignore social impact bonds, says Jon Coane, housing finance partner at Bevan Brittan