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The team at our Oliver Street supported living service in Leicester were shortlisted for the Care Team Award at the Great East Midlands Care Awards in recognition of their amazing support of Howard, who lives with dementia.
Howard has a learning disability and has lived at Oliver Street for many years. When he developed dementia, the staff team knew that it was important for him to continue to be supported in his home – and they made sure that this happened. The team have worked hard to understand dementia and its complexities, and ensured that Howard’s home could be adapted to support his changing needs.
Howards’ Sister, Kate, wrote to us to say: “Howard is cared for by the most wonderful team. They are so attuned to his condition that they can anticipate his problems and act accordingly. We value how lucky Howard has been to have this marvellous team around him. Their love and care has enhanced the last eight years of his life.”
Lee began his career in care when he joined Eachstep Blackley in April 2014, with no previous experience in a care environment. In the short time since, Lee has shone, with naturally compassionate nature and ambition to care for and support people is clear.
Once Lee had demonstrated that he had all the values, morals and personal experience to give life-enhancing care – he then developed specialist knowledge of the condition, taking part in a wide range of training within the service. A naturally quiet person, Lee is incredibly sensitive to the needs of the people we support, and is able to relate to them and show true compassion. He has built trusting relationships with the people he cares for, which is of course a prerequisite for providing meaningful care.
One lady he supports in particular, Gladys, is quite the fan of Lee’s, and can often be heard asking where he is on a day off, and is never far away when he is on duty. If Gladys becomes upset, or distressed in any way, she doesn’t feel like she has to turn to ‘a member of staff’ or ‘a carer’, instead she can turn to a somebody who genuinely cares about her. The relationship he has built with her has contributed immensely to the level of support she receives, and in turn her wellbeing and happiness levels.
Lee is a prime example of a person who proves that knowledge or experience isn’t necessarily an essential requirement for an amazing career in care, but being kind, considerate and patient is. I have observed Lee treating the people we support as individuals, respecting their own morals and values; likes and dislikes; life history and legacy in a way that truly defines the person-centred approach.
Carlingwark House is residential care home that supports 30 Older People. The team is committed to ensuring the dignity of residents, and at the core of this is delivering excellent continence care.
Carlingwark has been recognised both locally and nationally for their high standards of continence care, winning the 2013 National Dementia Award for Best Dementia Continence Care, and recently being runner-up for the NHS Dumfries and Galloway Anne Jamieson Memorial Award for Continence Care. With only 33% of residents at Carlingwark using continence products, compared to national average of 72% in dementia care homes, the home has set a benchmark for excellent continence care.
Shirley McTeir, Service Manager has emphasised how the importance of ongoing training and mentoring of staff is vital to achieving high standards: “With the correct approach to staff development, environment and personalised support, a high standard of continence care can impact so greatly on the quality of life of residents.”
Getting to know the person is at the core of the EachStep model of care. Phil Benson and Danielle Andrews know that the best way to do this is to find out who they are, what they like, what their life has been about, and why they feel the way they do. This interaction, which has led to some excellent relationships and outcomes between staff and the people they support, has inspired their Life Story Work.
Combining research from the University of Manchester and their own best practice, Phil and Danielle have developed a tool that helps staff to delve into the rich histories of the people they support and continue their story after joining the service. This tool is designed to help people remember events in their life, and how they affected them emotionally.
Traditionally, Life Story work focuses on the important events of a person’s life, but by also understanding how these events made them feel at the time, EachStep’s staff are able to interpret residents’ emotions and behaviour when their short-term memory fades and they see life through the prism of their long-term memories.
On using the tool, staff teams have reported that even the smallest insights have given them a far better understanding of someone’s personality; enabling them to provide a more joined-up and personalised service. As well as reflecting a person’s history, the stories are also continued throughout their support at EachStep, showing their journey did not end when they joined the service.
Jacqui Moran is Service Leader across four of Community Integrated Care’s services in Liverpool, joining the organisation in March 2008 as a Support Worker. Having worked in several settings, Jacqui decided that working in mental health services was her true calling.
As Team Leader and more recently, Service Leader, Jacqui’s expertise and empathy has made her an indispensable part of the Community Integrated Care family. Jacqui has remained a constant in the sometimes turbulent lives of the people she supports, many of whom were on the selection panel that chose her as Team Leader. The relationships she has built with them since this day have stood firm, with the people she supports praising Jacqui as their biggest advocate.
Jacqui is held in extremely high regard by colleagues and external professionals alike. During a recent contract review consultation with a gentleman supported, Jacqui was praised by representatives from Liverpool City Council, who commended her for “being at the forefront, steamrolling the way with pilot schemes that LCC have only recently discussed”.
Jacqui’s dedication can be illustrated in her continued support of a tenant in his late 50s at Buckingham Road. After six months at Jacqui’s service, the gentleman, who had experienced mental health concerns, got his own tenancy independent of any support. Despite no longer being supported by Community Integrated Care, Jacqui stayed in touch, such was her deep concern for the man’s wellbeing.
After six months, he was badly injured, spending months in hospital with a fractured skull and brain injury. Jacqui remained by his side throughout, and in her own time, supported him throughout his rehabilitation and respite in hospital. Attending all of his care meetings, Jacqui was told that the man required 24-hour nursing care. Knowing the man’s strength of character, Jacqui disagreed, and pleaded for him to be referred back to her service. With the support of the team, led by Jacqui, the man has made a remarkable recovery. Amazingly, he has just been declared medically fit to drive again – which has given him back his independence, and helped him rebuild networks with friends and family.
Jacqui is described by her team as ‘the epitome of what a care manager should be’ – and we’re sure nobody could disagree, particularly has she’s been shortlisted for an amazing THREE care sector awards this year!
Not only passionate about her work, Jacqui keeps busy in her spare time too, and can often be found lending an hour or two volunteering at Berwyn Railways Station in North Wales, to fundraise for the preservation of steam heritage.