DDN_April_2024 DDN April 2024 | Page 21


Tim Sampey , Dave Higham and David Best explain the aims of the new standards for lived experience recovery organisations wider community and its achievements in addressing exclusion and discrimination .
For a long time , in the UK and internationally , recovery has been a social movement that has generated pride , belonging and a positive identity for people . We are now recognising and celebrating that vibrancy in a way that builds communities and improves the lives of all of the citizens in our inclusive recovery cities .
More information at : https :// www . inclusivecities . info
Professor David Best ( Centre for Addiction Recovery Research , CARR ), Steven Brown ( Empowerment , Blackpool ), Sue Northcott ( Humankind , Leeds ), Eleanor Youdell ( Double Impact , Nottingham ), Dot Smith ( Recovery Connections , Middlesbrough ), Mark Green ( York in Recovery ), Tracey Ford ( Sheffield City Council ), Mike Crowther ( Empowerment , Blackpool ), Jamie Sadler ( DATUS , Birmingham )
HOW DID THE STANDARDS COME ABOUT ? Since its inception in the dark days of COVID and lockdowns , the College of Lived Experience Recovery Organisations ( CLERO ) has been striving to create connection , coherence and credibility for all lived experience recovery organisations ( LEROs ) across the UK and beyond . We have finally realised that objective .
As with most complex tasks it took double the amount of effort and triple the amount of time we thought it was going to take , but we ’ ve finally got there . The LERO standards have been published and made publicly available .
With the initial encouragement of Dame Carol Black and the ongoing support from OHID ( specifically from Laura Pechey and Suzie Roscoe ), we have taken two years consulting and listening to come up with standards that would provide not only a framework for providers but reassurance and credibility to users of the service , family members , communities , and our partners in specialist addiction treatment , housing , justice and – especially – commissioners that funding a LERO is not a shot in the dark , but a commitment to innovative and evidence-based practice . In doing so , we used a process of co-production to ensure that LEROs – especially our own membership – are seen , heard and valued . The ultimate aim is that no treatment system is complete without a LERO at its core and as its heart and soul .
WHAT ARE THE CLERO STANDARDS DESIGNED TO ACHIEVE ? Our hope is that the CLERO standards will act as a framework for LEROs nationally – from the smallest to the largest – providing guidance on the structuring and building of our organisations and a clear definition of what differentiates them from treatment providers . LEROs have their own unique rationale and philosophy that is born of , and embedded in , lived experience and the social connotations of recovery .
However , it is also a key aspiration that the standards will benefit commissioners and providers in supporting the work of LEROs and finding ways to embed them as a central part of their local treatment systems . The LERO is not an alternative to treatment but an essential adjunct , and a critical part of any recovery-oriented system of care .
WHERE ARE WE NOW ? It ’ s important to recognise that the current version of the standards is a live document and will be periodically reviewed , and where necessary changed – based on the feedback of our colleagues across the country . We feel this is a good starting point for the development of LEROs nationally , and an important step to fully integrating them into the wider treatment system to enable us collectively to encourage the building of recovery orientated systems of care everywhere .
A copy of the standards can be found on the CLERO website or obtained from any of the recovery connectors by request . We hope this is the first step in our journey to collectively support and build a national LERO movement . The next stage will be to test and evaluate our standards and to continue to strive to improve not only the minimum requirements for being a LERO but also their capacity for innovation , excellence and achievement . https :// www . clero . co . uk / clero-standards
Tim Sampey is CEO of Build on Belief , Dave Higham is CEO of The Well Communities and David Best is professor of addiction recovery at Leeds Trinity University