York MCN Meeting

4th December 2019

Looking back at the last 18 months...

Kelly Cunningham said the purpose of the meeting was to look back over the past 18 months, and then focus on next year.

These are the key questions:

  • What is our purpose?

  • What can we do together?

  • Who are we talking about when we say MCN?

  • Who else is doing this kind of work and what can we learn from them?

  • How can we work with people with lived experience?

  • What do we know about our system – what is working and what can be improved?

Catherine Scott said at the start of the year it had been agreed that we were to continue meeting as a network, engage with the wider community and work on the Systems Changers programme.

All three had been achieved. This was the tenth MCN network meeting. The network had commissioned an engagement project with Social Vision and a peer research project, as well as developing and supporting a peer network for people with lived experience.

And the first Systems Changers programme had concluded in November.

Systems Changers update

Systems Changers facilitator Paul Connery said they were committed to running Systems Changers again in 2020.

The 2019 programme had a lot of opportunities, but also a lot of challenges. We are reviewing what worked, and what didn’t, with a view to reshape the programme for next year. We’d like to reach parts of the system we didn’t before. We will start recruiting early next year.

We want to continue to support the original group – what support they require is up to them.

And we will continue to support and nurture the peer research group.


Lankelly Chase support

Habiba Nabatu of Lankelly Chase said that this was their fourth year coming to York. Lankelly Chase was invited in by the Clinical Commissioning Group, the police and housing department at City of York Council on the Pathways scheme.

It was clear that we needed to widen the group to schools, voluntary groups and wider society. When that funding was coming through to the end three organisations came together to ask how they could carry on the work and approached Lankelly Chase for funding, and York MCN emerged from that.


What next for the network?

Developing ideas to take forward – Kelly said they had narrowed it down to 13 ideas, for people to vote on:

1) Self-care for frontline staff – understanding this and developing initiatives to improve, including research/engagement around practitioner/staff experiences

(2 votes)

2) Additional research around the experiences of people with lived experience

(9 votes)

3) Research into capacity/demand issues affecting the system


4) City wide/cross sector hub – bringing together ideas

of creating a multi-agency, creative, collaborative hub, co-working space etc

(16 votes)

5) Job shadowing


6) Signposting & Information – eg service directory, waterproof guide to surviving the streets 5 votes​

7) Cultural values survey – getting a clearer picture of the values we hold and what we truly care about, enabling us to stay passionately engaged and performing at our best

10 votes

8) Partnership/collaboration: a) joint commissioning/joint budgets/transforming KPIs, including developing incentives to collaborate; b) join up case review meetings; c) bring together the groups with money and power and influence to get buy-in for change together, eg OPFCC – CYC (housing, public health, adult social care), CCG (mental health), community (lived experience)


9) Developing a No Wrong Door approach – No Wrong Door ensures that the needs of young people in care, no matter how diverse, are addressed within a single team of trusted and skilled workers. These workers will stay with the young person throughout their journey, be it to prevent care, in care, or out of care


10) Create a passport/app for people with lived experience to avoid retelling stories


11) Exploring how we use creative arts and how to engage with the creative industry


12) Training for staff/professionals in the system


13) Join up MCN priorities/development with Northern Quarter Community Mental Health Pilot Project


Idea 2: Additional research around the experiences of people with lived experience

Key questions: How do we share power? How do we ensure all the projects are genuinely co-produced? How do we support people with lived experience to talk about what matters to them?

The experiment will look like walking alongside all the other projects, coproducing and ensuring the voices are heard.

Lived experience shouldn’t happen in isolation – it should inform other projects.

We could mirror the Elephant In The Room initiative, with mystery shoppers to check how services work.

Who are the other stakeholders? Everyone in the network. ‘Nothing about us without us’ should be the mantra.

Next steps: initial meetings, developing a shared approach to peer research.

Idea 4: City wide/cross sector hub – bringing together ideas of creating a multi-agency, creative, collaborative hub, co-working space

Ideas that are already under development including the Peasholme Charity working with partners to develop a hub.

Conversation – one big hub, little hubs, how to manage them, linking to wellbeing hubs like dementia hubs?

Key questions: how do hubs evolve? Will people get a better service with hubs?

Experiment: the story of many hubs…

PC and its advisory group will contribute, as will the CV. Other stakeholders: housing team, mental health services. 

Support: Funding, premises, people, information on good practice

Next steps: Plan more around what we want to learn. Share virtual support like the Systems Changers WhatsApp group.

Idea 7: Cultural values survey

Why cultural values are important: we need to understand the values of community groups and understand potential barries and blocks, as well as work towards a shared vision.

The Exeter CoLabs idea – we should plagiarise their approach because it worked.

Identifying who should be involved: all the statutory and voluntary organisations. We need a phased approach. We’re not going to get everyone involved immediately. Identify key contacts and encourage them to be involved.4

Support: signing up those key contacts; covering the time of those who are involved; costs of commissioning a survey – £2.5-£4K. What budget do we need? Identifying commitment from organisations for training etc.

Idea 8: Partnership and collaboration

For things that are purchased, we need to understand where contracts and money are changing hands. How do we bring groups of money, power and influence together?

What would that look like? Could we bring together a group of people with money, and say we have a system and some of it’s not working?

Could we design a service collaboratively, with people with lived experience as a full partner in that process?

We would set a joint vision.

Is it too simplistic to say, everybody bring their resources together and decides what to spend it on?

Where do we get the permissions we need? Practical support is required. around admin project planning.

Do we need an independent voice agitating for change?

Using consistent language, we need to be able to describe what we are doing to a lay person, and to the entire team.

Idea 11: Exploring how we use creative arts and how to engage with the creative industry

At the heart of contemporary art is the social element, and how we engage with community.


We need to bring people out of isolation and bring out people with lived experience to make connections. We’re interested in connecting up mental health with the arts. Workshops could be geared towards gathering information that could feed back into the system to show what works and what doesn’t.

Other stakeholders? City of York Council; we’ve already got connections with York St John University; we would like to make more connections with the Northern Quarter Community Mental Health Pilot Project.

Support? Money, time, spaces, art resources.

Reflections and actions

Hub group: take the different ideas forward. Cultural values survey group: connect with Exeter, do some scoping.

Group on lived experience – connect with other MEAM areas and the creative arts group.

Coordination team development – set an early 2020 meeting and invite people in to see how we can widen it out.

Partnership and collaboration – unsure how this will be taken forward.

Creative arts – engage with other groups in the network.

What next?

Next network meeting – February.

Feed back on how things have developed within the groups and any connections made with other groups

Consider the frequency of network meetings in 2020.

Purpose of the network

Which of these are most important? Is there anything we’ve missed?

  1. The MCN is made up of people working towards cultural change around how York tackles issues related to multiple needs

  2. The MCN is made up of people experimenting with building a collaborative culture that will help improve people’s lives in York

  3. The MCN is a shared space that brings together people and organisations to identify common goals and develop joint solutions that improve people’s lives

  4. The MCN is a shared space that brings together people and organisations to deepen relationships and to develop collaborative ways of working.


We’ve got distinct pieces of work, and these will develop in 2020

We should be consistently about challenge – sometimes it feels that we avoid challenge, but challenge is positive.

Senior people need to free people’s time to develop this work

We can reflect learnings at the mental health partnership

One thing that’s missing – to come back and share learning within the network so we’re always modelling the collaboration we’d like to see

We are at a stage where we are ready to take it further out

The MCN is a space that brings together people with shared values to develop collaborative approaches which will help people in York to change their lives

We want to be able to influence the wider system so we don’t have people who drop through the gaps.

Vote of thanks...

After the checkout there was a vote of thanks and – and a round of applause – for the core facilitation team for all their work in making the group happen over the past year.