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Danshell to concentrate on core services

We have recently been drawing up investment plans following the completion of our strategy to solely concentrate on providing services for people living with a learning disability, autism and complex needs.

Newbus Grange exterior 1

Since expanding our portfolio with the acquisition of 20 sites two years ago, we have been reviewing our service provision in consultation with key stakeholders, including commissioners. This has led to the sale of several sites no longer core to the business.

Our Chief Executive, Andrew Murray, said: “We are embarking on an exciting new stage in the company’s development that will be achieved, as we always have done, in consultation with those we serve, family carers, staff, commissioners and other stakeholders.

“We will now focus on our core services for adults living with learning disabilities and autism. We plan to further invest in these services so we can continue to provide excellent support in environments which can meet individual needs.”

Mr Murray added: “In view of the company’s decision to focus onservices for adults with a learning disability and autism, the recent sales were in the best interests of service users and staff. Partnerships in Care is well-respected and it intends to continue to provide the high standards of care and support that Danshell offered at these services.”

Danshell supports people living with a learning disability or autism in specialist hospitals and residential locations. Its teams of highly skilled and caring staff take pride indelivering compassionate, effective and personalised care, which helps its service users achieve what they want out of life. We now own 23 sites across England and Scotland.

Our Services Are Raising Money for Great Charities!

On 1st July Trinity House hosted a ‘Blooming Tea Party’ in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care Nurses. Friends, family and neighbours had a great day and helped to raised £101. Staff and service users worked together to bake and decorate the dining room with their art work.

Irene Charfadi, activity coordinator at Trinity House said “ It is always a good day as we get out the fine china and the ‘proper teapots ‘ and service users enjoy getting waited on, just like in a nice wee tea room.”

On 30th May a garden party was held in the grounds at Newbus Grange to raise money for local charities. From the funds raised £30.00 was donated to the local village of Croft on Tees to help with the ‘Lewis Carroll’ celebrations. The author Lewis Carroll was brought up in Croft on Tees and this year is 150 years since the first publication of Alice in Wonderland. The money was used for refreshments at their recent Lewis Carroll memorabilia day which some service users attended.

A donation of £100 was also made to local charity ‘Clervaux Trust’ who specialise in offering training to disadvantaged young adults. At their local eco centre they provide agricultural training, pottery & textile making. They have even built a pizza oven from pig poo!

Newbus charity donatations

Over the last few months, Annie Dodsworth, property assistant based in York has been raising as much money as possible for Cancer Research.

Annie completed a 5k (Race for Life) obstacle course in York on Saturday 4th July getting incredibly muddy in aid of raising awareness for breast cancer. Staff in the York office held a bake sale and 80’s Dress down day Friday 3rd July in support of Annie’s antics.

In addition to the 5k race she held a stall at a local car boot sale. In total Annie has raised over £300 for Cancer Research. Well done Annie!

Melissa Baynes, Charge Nurse at Thornfield Grange in Bishop Auckland has recently completed the moonlight walk in Edinburgh in aid of the breast cancer charity Walk the Walk. Melissa was inspired after a very close friend was diagnosed earlier this year with an aggressive form of inflammatory breast cancer.

She joined other fundraisers on the walk which took place on 13th June in Edinburgh at midnight. Melissa managed the course in 8 hours and 6 minutes, without any training the going was hard but with support from the other fundraisers and the people of Edinburgh everyone kept going. She raised a fantastic £420 for Walk the Walk.

Danshell's National Clinical Governance Forum Success

On the 1st July 2015, over sixty representatives from across the Danshell Group services and support functions gathered for the National Clinical Governance Forum at the Holiday Inn in York.

The afternoon conference was a resounding success and all those who attended felt inspired by the expertise and information that was shared throughout the day. The event is essential for sharing best practice. For instance, at July’s conference we were lucky to hear a service user’s perspectives of our model of care – Personal PATHS, when she presented to the group. It also serves as an opportunity to raise current key issues within the learning disability and mental health community, to make sure our services provide a high level of quality care.

The conference was opened by the Danshell’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Murray, who gave an overview of the Danshell model of care and the company’s plans for the next quarter. He spoke about our plans to continue to provide care that meets the needs of the individual. As a group, we have already redesigned bespoke services at three of our services in the UK. Andrew talked about the upcoming launch of Hollyhurst Lodge in Darlington which will provide bespoke apartments for two individuals living with a learning disability and complex needs.

Next, the new Duty of Candour published by the NWC was highlighted and discussed by the group. All staff were reminded of their responsibility in being transparent and to inform service users and families when incidents occur.

Jenny Anderton, User Involvement Lead, then talked to the group about service user involvement and the importance of including people in the delivery of their care. She talked about the importance of listening and learning from those we support. This is something we have been doing in our ‘Experts by Experience’ quality checks, where people who use our services inspect them to ensure the care being delivered is high quality. When discussing care, Jenny said,

“If we include people and families, we are going to get it right first time”.

The workshop was followed by a presentation on Epilepsy by Yvonne Butterfield, one of our Consultant Nurses for the North East Region. Yvonne discussed the importance of following our policies when supporting an individual with epilepsy. She highlighted that 50% of people living with a severe learning disability were likely to have epilepsy and this is something our services need to be very aware of. Yvonne reflected that,

“It is so important for us to work with families where individuals with epilepsy are concerned”,

as often they are instrumental in providing us with information that will ensure that they are supported to manage their illness effectively.

Laura Bottliglieri, Speech and Language Therapist, then discussed how she has been supporting people in services to use technology such as tablets and iPad’s. She highlighted how accessible the devices could be, and the wide range of applications that can be downloaded to help someone live more independently. Laura talked to us about the range of communication tools that she used on a daily basis.

We then had a presentation from the Chesterholme team including Simon Owens; Assistant Psychologist, Clare the activity co-ordinator and Jaime, a staff nurse. They discussed how they had been supporting people using Danshell’s Personal PATHS model of care. This included their Healthy Lifestyles challenges such as who can eat the most fruit and vegetables in a day! They then discussed their use of Appreciate Inquiry to hear about what is working well within the service. People who are supported there said that,

“I enjoy doing a lot of volunteering work”

And a new staff member reflected that,

“Since I have started, I have noticed everything is person centred here. The positive behaviour support is key to what we do. The staff all work well together and really value talking to the people we support”

Their presentation was concluded by a talk from Amanda, a service user from Chesterholme who talked to us about her experience of Therapeutic Outcomes and how she has been able to control her behaviour using a five step programme that has been really successful. Amanda spoke with confidence and energy in front of such a large crowd, and Debra Moore, Group Clinical & Nursing Director thanked her for sharing her experiences of care with us on the day.

In the second part of the conference we took part in a workshop by Jenny Anderton and Anne Benfield; Head of Customer Relationships, to discuss Care Treatment Reviews and our experiences of them. This was a chance for managers across the UK to work together to share their reflections of the reviews, and their advice with each other.

Finally we heard from Dave Atkinson, Consultant Nurse in the North East about the new NICE guidelines on violence and aggression.

All who attended left the event on a positive note, full of ideas on how they could continue to deliver a gold standard level of care to the people they serve, as well as their families and local communities.

Thank you to all staff who attended on the day, we look forward to the next forum.

Ellen Mhor Open Day Success!

Ellen Mhor Learning Disability Service Celebrates 10th Anniversary!

Ellen Mhor is a residential care home with nursing situated in a suburban area of Dundee. The service can support up to 12 adults who are living with a learning disability, complex needs and who may have an autistic spectrum condition. Ellen Mhor also supports those who have behaviours which are perceived to be challenging and associated mental or physical health needs.


On the 29th July 2015, Ellen Mhor held an Open Day to celebrate its 10 year anniversary as a service. The event was a great success, with service users, families and carers and staff members all getting involved to mark the day with a barbeque and garden party. The sun was shining all day, and people took it in turns to take part in activities such as throwing water bombs at the Service Manager – Ashley Fraser Green and Consultant Nurse - Gary Docherty! 


Everyone involved worked really hard to make the day a success, and they even managed to raise a great sum for a local charity at the same time. £167.95 was raised through tombola, raffle and cake stall items donated and made by staff, service users, and relatives.

The people being supported by Ellen Mhor have decided to donate the money raised to ‘Cash for Kids’ a charity which is promoted and managed by their local radio station TayFM.

To thank everyone for their hard work and fundraising TayFM today have said that they are going to arrange a tour of the radio station for the individuals who were involved in the day.

Congratulations to everyone at Ellen Mhor for making the day a success and raising so much money for a great cause!


Our services are regularly hosting open days, events and barbeques for families and the local community, and they often are used as a chance for people to raise money for charities in the local areas. Watch this space to hear more about the events that are happening this summer.

Read more about Ellen Mhor here

Volunteering Success at Bentley Railway Station

bentley group photo

Our Occupational Therapist for the South East, Susan Wood recently adopted Bentley Railway Station earlier this year. She had attended a meeting at the Colchester railway station in 2014 and things started growing from there. Suzy is very keen on supporting the local community and has an interest in gardens. She thought that by adopting Bentley Station, she could combine and explore interests with service users who also like gardening.

Suzy obtained a grant from Terri Ryland who is the Essex & South Suffolk Community Rail Officer. Terri also helped very much with getting the project off the ground and supporting the process along with others from Abelio Greater Anglia.

Terri provided the means to apply for a grant to purchase some flowers and things needed to enhance the appearance of the station gardens. Once the flowers were purchased things started moving very quickly. Suzy worked with staff and service users at The Orchards who had a keen interest in gardening, to start renovating the station gardens. The volunteers have been pro-active in supporting Suzy in the venture which provides them with real work opportunities.

Things have not stopped there though, the line is called “The Sunshine Coast Line” and efforts are being made to develop a mural for a wall which faces the train line. Volunteers from another Danshell service will get the opportunity to paint and present a picture of a seaside scene which will be translated onto the current blank wall which just has an old piece of wood on it. The Sunshine Coast line is a great line and meanders through beautiful villages on its route to Walton On The Naze.

Work will continue throughout the year and the station at Bentley is looking great; plans for the future include some large tubs (in place with some great wild flowers for the local wildlife – butterflies) which can also be looked after by people being supported by The Orchards. A wooden train is also being built by a local company and will be planted when finished. Suzy is very happy with the work that has been done by those supporting this venture and would like to thank all those involved; including Chris Wood the station master who has been so kind and helpful.

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