Offering choice and control is a must
Offering choice and control to people using care and support services is a must. Yet the reality of such a simple concept remains an unrealised ambition for most people – too many people remain locked into a system which fails to deliver. Often the very professionals who should be opening the doors to a more person-centred approach are themselves trapped in a way of thinking which prevents change.
At Certitude we are committed to personalisation for the people we support in both mental health and learning disabilities services. And we have made good progress. We have introduced person-centred reviews, intensive interaction techniques and recovery support planning.
But is it enough? In my view, as an organisation, we have not yet made the level of change required to consistently offer our customers choice and control over every aspect of their lives. There is so much more than we can do to support people to lead a life that is truly their own.
However, I realise that to achieve the breadth and depth of change needed to make personalisation a reality requires investment and commitment. Starting next month we will be engaging in a programme called “Working Together for Change”. This dynamic approach has a proven track record in identifying the transformation required to make choice and control a reality for more people and I’m confident it will bring a cultural shift to our entire organisation.
We’ll start by listening to the experts – the people who draw on our services, and their friends and families. We’re also going to invite Certitude staff, other care professionals and commissioners. Using skilled facilitators we’ll bring together all these key stakeholders for two days of listening, talking and decision making.
The first day is about understanding what people are telling us about the things that are working and not working for them, understanding what the reasons might be, and thinking about what success would look like if we were to change this.
The second day will be about working together to develop solutions that will lead to changes in how people experience support. “Working together for change” is based on the principles that everyone’s views are valued and that people with care and support needs, as well as their carers and families, are able to lead the work needed to improve the services they use. We will carry this out both with people with learning disabilities and people with mental health needs.
It will be by acting on our learning, and implementing the changes necessary throughout Certitude, that we will make real progress in making choice and control a genuine reality for the people we support.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress through my blog and I would be interested to hear any feedback.