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£400,000 service to help Cambridge’s homeless people closes

By Ben Hatton, Local Democracy Reporter

A “universally positive” service helping Cambridge’s homeless with mental health and substance misuse issues has closed.

The Dual Diagnosis Street Team was set up two years ago with £400,000 of government funding, with the aim of providing specialist clinical expertise for the city’s homeless with mental health or substance misuse issues.

A homeless person (14134778)
A homeless person (14134778)

The government grant ended in June and was not renewed.

The council said members of the team are now working within other mental health teams and no jobs were lost as a result.

And the council will now use its own resources to fund “a more limited, modified service”.

The council said an independent assessment of the service found “stakeholders were universally positive about the implementation and impact of the DDST, indicating that it had enabled improved access to appropriate treatment for rough sleepers in the city, and that it had facilitated more effective collaboration between service providers.”

A council spokesperson said: “The Dual Diagnosis Street Team was established using a two-year grant secured by the council from central government. The remit of the team – all employed by mental health provider, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust – was to add specialist clinical expertise in mental health and substance abuse to the already extensive support provided by the council and its partners for people on the streets of Cambridge.

“When the grant period ended no further funding was available from the Government, and the service closed on 30 June 2019. No jobs were lost and the staff are now working within other specialist mental health teams at CPFT.

“However, the council has been able to find funds from its own resources for a more limited, modified service to continue, and we are in discussion with partners to find the most effective way of continuing the good work of the original team, further details of this new service will be available shortly”.

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