Innovations in health and social care - Local Area Coordination

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Much of current service provision focuses on people’s deficits or particular condition label. Often support is not available until the person is in crisis & then only to meet the need that has a service solution already designed & available. Much of the support available to people is not place based or community rooted & often does not support people as contributors as well as clients.


Local Area Coordination is an evidence-based approach to supporting people as valued citizens in their communities. It enables people to pursue their vision for a good life and to stay safe, strong, connected, healthy, and in control.

Local Area Coordination works to

• Provide an accessible point of contact in the local community
• Focus on people’s own visions for a good life beyond services or formal support
• Help people build on their own assets and natural supports before looking to service solutions
• Walk alongside people building their capacity (not dependency) for as long as both agree
• Build trusting relationships with individuals, wider community members and workers in
• Ensure that the Coordinator is a well-connected, contributing member of the local community
with a link back into the service system
• Support system reform by bringing together all partners

Evidence base

Considerable international & national evidence show predictable outcomes & cost impact Examples include: Kingfishers (2016) Social value of local area coordination in Derby. A forecast social return on investment analysis for Derby city council. Broad R (2015) People, Places, Possibilities. Progress on Local Area Coordination in England and Wales.

Expected impact

When designed to include the core elements, Local Area Coordination sites see reductions in isolation, visits to GP surgeries and A&E, referrals to Adult Social Care or Mental Health evictions and costs to housing, dependence on formal health & social services, safeguarding concerns – people leaving safeguarding sooner. A Social Return on Investment: £4 return for every £1 invested, and an increase in community connections and capacity.

Stage / spread

Local Area Coordination has been a central part of the Western Australia system for 29 years & is in place internationally. As of January 2017, 11 areas in England and Wales are implementing Local Area Coordination into their core model, with more planned in 2017.

What would areas needs to have in place to make it happen?

Commitment to core elements of design & practice and developing cross system leadership through implementation will make the outcomes achieved predictable. Start small with 2 or 3 Local Area Coordinators & grow from there.

What will kill it?

Removing any of the core elements or leaving them weak reduces the impact and effectiveness, and therefore changes the outcomes. Trying to roll it out & not grow through relationships undermines it.

Where to go for more information

Website: (opens new window)