A Good Life

This report explores the hopes and aspirations of individuals facing multiple and complex needs. We hope it will spark creative, ambitious thinking, particularly for commissioners and policymakers as they develop more effective services for this group.
We often perceive people with multiple and complex needs to be excluded from society, on the margins. Undoubtedly, they do go through experiences and challenges that many people never will. However, many of our research participants want what most people want – a stable home, healthy relationships, good health, and wellbeing.
Participants focused on their own role in achieving the good life, although support from services often played a key role in motivating and encouraging people to make positive change. Their good life involved supportive communities, nurturing relationships, developing their own strengths, and making the world a better place.
The report is part of our SPARK programme of research. It presents the findings from our research with a group of people who have faced multiple and complex needs, asking them to describe a good life.
Whilst participants’ conceptions of a good life were multifaceted and varied, key themes emerged:

the impact of positive relationships
the importance of quality of life
a desire for something beyond traditional ‘needs-led’ service provision
the good life being a journey, not a single vision.

With public services moving towards outcome-based commissioning, we hope this paper will help commissioners and policymakers understand what this group could be supported to achieve.