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Andrew Prepares for More Independence

Andrew Independence1

Andrew at Chesterholme has been preparing for when he moves on from the Hexham service, towards more independent living. Chesterholme is an independent hospital for people with learning disabilities and complex needs. The staff team there have been helping him prepare for this time, supporting him to make his own choices and take part in the activities he enjoys.

Andrew recently gave a presentation on the process of moving on at People’s Parliament, the North East region’s service user forum. These forums are run by service users, enabling people to have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts on the service, share concerns and make suggestions for activities or on ways to improve their daily lives. It is also a great way for people to share their experiences and help others that are going through the same things.

Andrew Independence3

His presentation was brilliant, explaining about everything he does, his hobbies, and the place where he works. He also told everyone how he was preparing for moving by making a list of the things he will need when he leaves Chesterholme and about going on a grand shopping expedition with his support staff to buy things for his new place.

The staff team at Chesterholme are all working with Andrew to help support and prepare him for when he moves on. Andrew participates in a vast array of activities, all of which promote his independence, community access, and provide opportunities that empower Andrew to make appropriate choices and decisions.

Andrew works at Greenbox, run by the Hextol Foundation, once a week, packing information leaflets into envelopes and taking them to the local post office. He enjoys the responsibility and work environment and has had brilliant feedback from the team at Greenbox.

Andrew Independence4Minerva, a charity run arts centre supporting adults with learning disabilities, is another place Andrew enjoys going to each week. He loves getting stuck in with the wide range of creative projects available, such as silk painting, screen printing, pottery and furniture restoration. Through Minerva, Andrew has the opportunity to meet others while working in a friendly and supportive community-based environment.

The team also support Andrew to learn life skills that will help him when he moves. He thoroughly enjoys shopping and cooking, working alongside staff to decide what they would like to make for their tea. He is central to the whole process, from checking the larder cupboard, to buying the ingredients, to preparing, cooking, and presenting, before they can finally enjoy the tasty meal they have created.

Andrew now feels confident in his abilities and ready for the next step. When Andrew makes the move from Chesterholme, he hopes to continue to do all the things he currently likes doing, while enjoying greater independence.

Click here to read more about Chesterholme in Hexham

Ranaich House Achieves 'HealthyLiving' Award!

Healthy Living Award positive wideCongratulations to Ranaich House residential care home in Dunblane for achieving the 'HealthyLiving' Award!

The award recognises those who strive to promote the principles of a healthy balanced diet, using healthier ingredients and preparation methods, and is fully supported by the Scottish Government and NHS Health Scotland.

The staff team and service users have been working hard towards this award for months, making changes in how the chef prepares meals, as well as educating staff and service users to ensure everyone was up for the challenge.

The food at Ranaich House had previously not been as healthy as it could have been. The Manager and Chef got together to plan out how they could still offer tasty food choices, but without deep frying. They started using spray-lite to either bake or grill the food, and no one noticed the difference!

As this was such a huge success, they decided that the deep fryer was no longer needed. Now they don’t have the opportunity to deep fry at all, and nobody has missed it. They have now received positive comments not only from service users, but also neighbours, who have commented that they could tell when dinner was being prepared because of the delicious smells coming from the kitchen.

Healthy Living Collage

This has been such a positive change for everyone involved. Now service users join staff on trips to the local fish market, butchers and fruit and veg shops. Everyone has enjoyed having tasting sessions to learn about the healthy choices they can make, and to try food they may not have had the opportunity to try before. Staff ensure service users are involved in meal preparation, and enjoy teaching them about the benefits of reducing sugar and fat in their diet.

TaglineWell done to the whole team for working so hard and achieving this great award. This is a great achievement and a testament to how hard the staff have worked to improve the healthiness of the food at Ranaich House, and therefore the health and wellbeing of the service users they support. Congratulations!

Click here to read more about Ranaich House in Dunblane

Click here for more details on the HealthyLiving award

Wast Hills is 'Outstanding'

Wast Hills Outstanding StarWe are absolutely delighted to announce that Wast Hills Hospital in Kings Norton, Birmingham has been rated by the Care Quality Commission as ‘Outstanding’.

Wast Hills is one of only a very small percentage of care services which have received the ultimate accolade from the regulator.

Wast Hills is an independent hospital providing specialist support and services for adults on the autistic spectrum with associated complex needs.

The inspectors noted significant areas of outstanding practice throughout the service, rating Wast Hills as overall Outstanding. The inspectors noted that to; ‘promote patients’ wellbeing, staff used positive behaviour support to effectively understand, anticipate and meet patients’ needs.’ They additionally noted that ‘staff treated patients with kindness, dignity and respect’.

Our own model of care was also praised and the report stated that ‘Staff followed a model of care called ‘Personal PATHS’ that was developed by the Danshell Group. PATHS supported patients across five areas; positive behaviour support, appreciative enquiry for staff, patients and carers to reflect, to achieve therapeutic outcomes, promote healthy lifestyles, and provide safe services’.

Further positive comment from the inspector recorded that ‘External professionals praised Wast Hills for their quality multidisciplinary and inter-agency working practices. They were highly positive about the progress their patients made at Wast Hills, noting significant reductions in self-harm behaviours, incidents and observation levels’.

The report also observed that ‘The company invested in, and was responsive to the needs of staff. As a result, staff morale was very good. Managers listened to their staff and provided them with additional resources when they needed them’. The inspectors additionally noted that ‘the company had agreed funding to “over fill” nursing vacancies so the unit would not be short staffed when patient numbers grew’.

In addition to the excellent care and support given at the hospital, the CQC report highlighted that ‘Wast Hills staff delivered free training and education to community facilities such as hotels and leisure services where patients enjoyed activities. They did this to raise awareness, share best practice and improve access for people with autism’.

Wast Hills has also been recognised at the National Autistic Society’s Professional Awards 2017 and last year received the ‘Great Autism Practice Award’ at the prestigious National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards.

Mel Ramsey

Mel Ramsey, our Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a fantastic achievement, which is great credit to every member of staff at Wast Hills and the wider Danshell team. Our incredible rating is down to the care and support our staff provide every single day and their willingness to always go the extra mile.

“I am absolutely thrilled that everyone’s hard work has been rewarded, the comments from the inspector are heart-warming, and I am so very proud to be working with such a fantastic team of people who are making such a positive difference to the lives of the people we support.”

Click here to read the full report on the CQC website

Professor Bill Lindsay

Bill LindsayIt is with great sadness that we have learnt this weekend of the tragic news that Professor Bill Lindsay, our Lead Consultant Psychologist and Head of Research, has passed away peacefully on Saturday night.

Professor Lindsay was an expert in the field of learning disability and forensic psychology, and made a massive contribution on both a national and international scale. He was well regarded within Danshell and the wider industry, having published over 350 research articles and book chapters, and taught and inspired many people through lecturing, presentations and workshops.

Professor Lindsay worked for us for over 8 years and in that time those who worked with him found him to be an invaluable colleague, gaining much from his expert knowledge and empathetic manner. Dr Jane McCarthy, Medical Director said, “Bill was a great colleague and always very supportive.”

Efi Hershkovitz, Chairman, expressed his sadness at the news, saying, “Bill’s personality and professionalism will be missed in Danshell and within the industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Professor Lindsay had a wife, Isobel, 3 children, and grandchildren. We extend our sympathy to them at this difficult time.

You Said It, We Did It

Toller road Outside Web SizeThe people we support always remain our number one priority. With that in mind, the Midlands services have been working hard to create ‘You said, we did’ boards. The staff worked together with the service users to hear their views on their person centred care, what activities they would like to do, and what they would like changing about their service.

A great example is Toller Road’s ‘You said, we did’ boards. They were based on the responses provided through the service user questionnaires in September 2016. From the questionnaire feedback, staff identified key areas for improvements and things the service users would like to change. The ‘You said, we did’ boards show the positive changes that have come about from listening to this feedback. For example, the boards detail the steps Toller Road have taken to reduce noise levels, and also to increase exercise and physical activities. A couple of other really important areas that were included within this feedback were increased contact with families and service user holidays.

This great example of good practice has been shared around the company so that other regions can implement it in their services. This will enable all services to better support service users and continue to improve their person-centred care provision.

You Said We Did Boards

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