It has been a hugely successful year for the Adversity and Trauma HIT (previously Adverse Childhood Experiences HIT), with more developments in embedding ‘trauma informed approaches’ across our system.
We have secured a commitment from the Healthier Together Partnership (which covers Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) to being trauma informed – we understand this is the first Integrated Care System (ICS) to make such a commitment. Through our HIT, the ICS has the benefit of working with other local strategic partnerships, local authorities, Avon and Somerset Police and a well engaged voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.
Work with the Trauma Subgroup of the Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Partnership Group within Healthier Together has resulted in two Senior Responsible Officers identified within the ICS to take forward this transformation work. Funding has been secured to establish a post within Healthier Together to coordinate this work. We have also begun developing a new work plan within Healthier Together’s new governance arrangements.
Work implementing the Knowledge and Skills Framework for Trauma Informed Practice across the region has been supported by significant funding from the Home Office, focussed on reducing serious violence. A significant training programme across the Avon and Somerset partnership was delivered, including elements of ‘train the trainer’ and ‘Practice Educator’ posts, bringing welcome expertise to the system to support the ongoing implementation of the knowledge and skills framework.
Alongside this, there has been:
- improved connections to the Early Adversity Group for Longitudinal Epidemiology (EAGLE) at the University of Bristol,
- focussed work within each of the three local authorities (e.g. whole service training events, workshops with senior leaders, improved engagement of housing partners),
- safeguarding partnerships mainstreaming aspects of the training in core safeguarding training,
- local area strategy such as the Bristol Belonging Strategy embedding the principles,
- schools and nurseries undertaking whole setting training and reviewing policy and practice.
We worked with the Drug & Alcohol HIT to deliver training to practitioners and manager on Trauma Informed Practice and Self-Care, and we are scoping links to other HITs, including Psychosis and Sexual Health Improvement (SHIP).
Both South Gloucestershire and Bristol local authorities continue to manage successful Ambassador/practitioner networks and have been able to maintain an online programme of introductory training. A peer practice network is in development, funded by Avon & Somerset Police.
As a HIT we secured NHS Charities Together funding for a two-year project run by Second Step. This will develop a network of community champions who can engage local communities in raising awareness and understanding of trauma informed practice as well as shape the HIT resources and priorities.
We have also supported successful funding applications across the system, including the Changing Futures Bristol £3.3m investment from central government to work with adults facing homelessness, mental health problems, substance misuse and/or domestic violence. Working with the Drug & Alcohol HIT, this project will embed trauma informed ways of working and ARC West will support evaluation of the elements on trauma informed practice.
Research projects with ARC West have progressed. These include a cost-effectiveness analysis of interventions for children and young people who have been abused, and a mixed methods study of the impact of school behaviour management strategies. Our HIT Steering Group were engaged in shaping the priorities with ARC West and the scope of these projects.