FiMT, ANEC and Newcastle University study
A team led by Rob Wilson of Newcastle University was commissioned by the Association of North East Councils (ANEC), Institute for Local Governance and Forces in Mind Trust to explore information sharing practices within North East veteran support environment. The aim was to understand the needs of veterans, families and the organisations that work with them. The study reports on a survey of existing support networks, a review of the current guidance on information sharing around transitions and interview and workshops with key stakeholders from the public and third sector.
Recommendations in the Report centre on reviewing existing practices to understand where improvements can be made and to identify which practices deliver the most effective support. The report also concluded that it is important to create a landscape in which offers of support from all kinds of providers are accessible to ex-Service personnel and their families in the right place at the right time. The evidence from the research suggests that development of better information sharing and associated working practices between those organisations supporting the Armed Forces Community will lead to both a better use of increasingly limited public and charitable sector funds and, more importantly, more effective and targeted support services for the beneficiaries themselves.
Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, said: "The findings of this research further build on our evidence base and will enable the many statutory and voluntary organisations providing support to the Armed Forces Community to share and refine the flow of information and so better shape future planning. Working with the Institute for Local Governance on this regional project complements our other projects across the UK."
Professor Rob Wilson commented: "This project has brought together two programmes of work at Newcastle: one in the area of information sharing, the other in military studies. The research conducted for Forces in Mind Trust demonstrates the potential role that improvements in capacity around information sharing could play in the complex environment for the diverse needs of the range of ex-service personnel and their families. The key recommendation is the need to make strategic local investments in improving the infrastructure for co-ordination. Such investments would achieve more effective joining up between those who provide help with those who need support thereby harnessing the resources and goodwill already available through existing programmes and in the wider local communities."
Please click on the link below to access the full report: