We are no longer accepting new referrals onto the programme.
Blackpool Fulfilling Lives is a time limited research and system change project that has been helping people over 18 who are experiencing multiple disadvantage in Blackpool since 2014. The project closes on 31/3/2021, which was always the intention. The learning from the project and independent evaluations have informed both form and function of the project to establish what approaches and interventions are most effective in helping people experiencing multiple disadvantage. In short, if people stay engaged with us for 2 months, they stay for at least 12, and the optimum time for outcomes is 14 months.
Therefore as the project approaches its final year, the BFL Strategic Board has taken the difficult but evidence based decision to close the referral pathway on 31st December 2019. That means we will not be taking any new referrals of clients, but we will take re-referrals - clients who have previously been with us who may have dropped out of the BFL service. This will raise a few questions which we have attempted to answer below.
Questions and Answers
1. Why has BFL stopped taking new referrals as of 31/12/2019?
a. Our independent evaluations show that the optimum time to work with someone is 14 months. Therefore we need to allow time for the service to support clients we accept onto the programme up to 31/12/2019. If we continue to take new referrals after then, we will have to withdraw support from them early which is not a positive outcome.
We also need to anticipate that staff will apply for other roles outside of BFL during the final year, so the capacity of the service will be reduced.
2. What do you mean by re-referral?
a. It has to be someone who was accepted onto the programme previously, so that is someone who was assessed as eligible and assigned a Navigator.
If it was someone who was referred but did not engage with us then that is not a re-referral. We have had hundreds of 'referrals' that we were unable to find or who did not meet the criteria.
3. Establishing re-referrals - How will i know if the person i am thinking of referring has previously been with you?
a. You may already know as it may be you that has referred them previously. From 1st January 2020, we also have a way of you checking with BFL if the person you are referring has previously been known to us. This will be via a telephone call to the BFL office duty mobile 07812 745437, where a member of our team will take some details about you and the client and will then ring you back. This is for GDPR compliance. We will also need confirmation that you have the client's consent to make the re-referral before we can do anything, again to comply with GDPR.
Please note that occasionally the duty mobile may not be answered, but there is an answerphone facility at all times. Someone will call you back ASAP.
We will be sending out simple operating procedure to all services during December 2019 as a 'how to' guide, in the run up to this change.
4. Is the service offer from BFL changing?
a. No. We will still conduct an assessment of need (review of the original assessment) to ensure the person is still eligible for BFL. If they are then we will arrange to meet them, assign them a Navigator and then begin to help them connect with other services.
BFL will remain open from 7am-9pm Monday to Friday and 10-6 at weekends until further notice. We may have to review opening hours as the staff capacity reduces due to colleagues leaving the service.
Since 2014 BFL has helped over 500 people experiencing multiple disadvantage to connect to local services in Blackpool and we will continue to help the 148 clients we currently have in service (as at 13/11/2019) and any other eligible persons we accept onto the programme up to and including 31/12/2019.
We will also be holding a system change 2 years on event in February 2020, where we can discuss what steps organisations can take to minimise the impact of BFL ending in 2021.