Commissioning personalised support for those rough sleeping in South Yorkshire

sheffield1Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield local authority housing strategic departments are commissioning a new service that aims to provide bespoke solutions for those rough sleeping in their localities. 

Sitra spoke to Sue Naldrett, Project Officer in Doncaster’s Strategic Housing Department to find out more.



So what does this new service look like?

The service is as part of the ‘no second night out’ initiative and will be for those new to rough sleeping and those whose rough sleeping is entrenched.  We realised that we needed to ensure that those new to rough sleeping were able to be picked up quickly and needed a tailored solution to engage them with services immediately.  With the latter group they are often barred from current services and there have been significant interventions that have not worked so they need personalised solutions.  The service may involve reconnection to an area where the person has a connection and can include utilising a personal budget.

How did the idea come about?

The Local Authorities came together to develop an action plan for how their combined single homelessness fund could be used most effectively.  The group discussed what obstacles exist to preventing people spending another night ‘out’ and identified that a personalised solution were required.  Doncaster is the lead local authority and all the authorities are working collaboratively to put mechanisms in place to support the initiatives for example identifying emergency accommodation.


What did this mean in term of commissioning and procurement?

The commissioning has had to be more flexible as the development of the service is going to be client led.  With the support of a provider we have identified some overarching outcomes but will have to work with the successful provider to identify more specific outcomes and deliverables. The contract will have to allow for us to negotiate over the course of the service commissioned and respond to what works and what doesn’t, as well as identifying best practice.  This is a project where the commissioners, provider and clients will be working together to ensure that support is truly personalised and effective.

What is so inspiring about this work is the Local Authorities have recognised the need for a flexible approach in commissioning and managing this contract to ensure the service is personalised. Sue Baxter, Sitra

How do you feel about Sitra shadowing you so we have a live personalisation case study?

That’s great as we want to share our experiences to assist other commissioners and providers, we will be having regular quarterly review meetings so will have lots to contribute.  We will have reached a decision about the provider by the end of July and are hoping to have the project starting in the middle of August.

Watch this space for updates!

Want more info? email

We want to hear about good practice in commissioning and providing personalised services. If you have something to contribute contact Sue