You First improves lives and cuts costs by 20%

November 2016

New figures show that You First support to previously chaotic crisis service-users is improving outcomes at less cost to the taxpayer.

One of 12 Big Lottery-funded Fulfilling Lives programmes You First is finding new ways to support people with multiple needs that include mental health, substance misuse, housing and offending problems.

You First works with partners in Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham to identify and then support people with poor outcomes who incur big costs through arrest, imprisonment, A+E and crisis mental health attendance, emergency housing and other services.

A multi-disciplinary team supports the beneficiary to stabilise and improve the quality of their life by taking more control through a personal budget.

The partnership is led by Resolving Chaos and includes all three councils, the local NHS and charities including St Giles Trust, Thames Reach and Certitude.

Working with the King’s College Health Economics Team, Resolving Chaos have collected and analysed the outcome data for the 14 longest supported beneficiaries.

The average cost reduction for that cohort from one year prior to engagement with the You First Team to one year into the support is £138,607. That is a saving, through reduced service use, of just under £10,000 a year per beneficiary, a 20% fall on previous spending.

Applying this 20% reduction to the total 45 beneficiaries currently being supported, like Stephen (pictured), would indicate a saving of £318,894 a year. This saving is expected to increase as beneficiaries recovery further and use fewer services.

The financial saving is reflected in the assessment of how the beneficiary’s quality of life has improved in areas like mental and physical health, social networks, managing money substance use.

Based on the results from the year prior to engagement and the year following we can see that:  

  • There has been a reduction in the number of face-to-face contacts at community drug and alcohol services. The data indicates that this is because people are attending appointments in a planned way, rather than multiple crisis presentations. 
  • There has been a significant reduction in mental health related inpatient episodes.
  • Criminal justice has seen the largest reduction in service use costs. The data shows this is as a direct result of a reduction of the number of arrests and subsequent reduction in prison episodes.