Council to roll out ‘resilience matrix’ to help support vulnerable residents

Islington Town Hall.

Islington Council is developing a ‘resilience matrix’ to help staff better understand vulnerable residents who may be in crisis.

The news comes as the Town Hall responds to recommendations from its housing scrutiny committee to record the needs of disabled and vulnerable residents in greater detail.

The system, which is expected to go live this year, would allow Islington staff to quickly and precisely see on the front of a person’s file what additional needs a person may have, which would cause services to be tailored in response.

Helena Stephenson, head of housing partnerships, said: “It’s not about labelling people, but about how we as a service adapt what we do to meet that person’s needs more effectively.

“We don’t need diagnoses, labels or any of that stuff – what we need to know is what additional needs this person has and how that changes our service, and have that literally on the front page of the IT record so you can pick it up and quickly see it.

“One of the aspirations we had for the resilience matrix is having an assessment tool that we can use to find out what’s going on with a person, and what does it mean for the types of services we deliver to that person.

“My aspiration is that for every person we meet that we’ve assessed as having some level of risk or vulnerability, we would have attached to that a clear safety plan which sets out, ‘This is the type of issue that is going on’.”

Stephenson added that the matrix’s roll-out is part of council services moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach, by which “people who can do things for themselves are supported to do so, freeing up officers to spend more time with people who need a bit more help”.

Cllr Ben Mackmurdie said: “I know that we’re looking at vulnerability with the resilience matrix, but it should be broadly all our tenants should get these kinds of services. There’s just so many people that slip through.

“Obviously we’re not the worst, but I personally know people, and I have casework, where you think to yourself, ‘Why have they slipped through? Why has this not been dealt with?’ The idea is great. I’d love to see it work.”