Danshell's First National User Forum Success
Created: Friday, 12 June 2015 00:00
The Danshell Group held its first National User Forum at the Park Inn hotel in York on the 11th June 2015. The forum aimed to gain insight into the ‘Danshell Experience’ through the eyes of those who use Danshell services. The day saw service users, family carers and the senior management panel gathering to listen to one another to gain greater understanding of the care and support provided from the point of view of the person using the service and how the same things matter to us all.
Representatives from the regional service user forums came along to share the questions and opinions of their local panels with the people who manage Danshell on a day-to-day basis. To open, Helen Milevsky, training coordinator, talked about ASDAN qualifications and what they offer to people in our services. To date, 98 people using our services have enrolled on the ASDAN qualifications, to gain skills to promote independence. Helen confirmed that many more people signed up after she spoke about the qualifications and so hoped this number would increase.
Led by Karen Flood, Co-chair of the National Forum for people with learning disabilities, the forum began with a group exercise discussing what was important to them. It was interesting to see that each group independently agreed that family, friends and happiness were the most important three things.
Next, the groups worked together to make posters about what they wanted to see from Danshell services, and what would mean the most to them. Each groups focus was different and included becoming more independent, communicating with family members and having jobs and meaningful work placements.
At the end of these group activities, the room was aware of what people really valued, and this set the tone for the day. Karen Flood said, ‘everyone in this room is equal’ and ‘being close to family and friends is important to us all’.
The afternoon session saw the Danshell senior management team form a panel whereby people who use the Danshell services could ask questions about their care and support. The panel was; Andrew Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Debra Moore, Group Clinical and Nursing Director, Resh Hirani, Acting Director of Finance, Ori Zaidman, Director of Corporate Development.
Questions asked included; ‘Can we have a pet?’, ‘How will we keep good staff?’, and from the family carer forum ‘How can you showcase work from inspiring managers and share it with the group?’
The panel provided the opportunity for service users to ask the senior management team questions that they believed would improve the quality of care being delivered. Overall, the question time ran for over an hour and everyone felt that they had good and full responses to issues raised.
Jenny Anderton, Danshell’s user involvement lead and organiser of the day said, “The forum has been a great success. It’s incredibly encouraging to see representatives each regional forum here putting forward those questions that matter most to those in charge. The day was informal and everybody came away feeling positive. The representatives are now going back to their respective regional forums and will feedback on the outcomes of the day”.
Awards Success for Rebecca Hill at the National Learning Disability Awards Show
Created: Monday, 18 May 2015 00:00
We are pleased to announce that Rebecca Hill, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Special Projects Lead for Danshell, has won the ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ award at the National Learning Disability Awards Show held on Friday.
The awards celebrate excellence in the support for people with learning disabilities and aim to pay tribute to those individuals or organisation who excel in providing quality care.
Rebecca works tirelessly on a daily basis to ensure that the voices of the people we serve, and their families, are heard and acted upon. In the past year, Rebecca has been instrumental in establishing the Danshell Family Carer forum, an independent group of families and carers that she helps coordinate, to make sure that their voices are heard. She holds monthly conferences calls, creating action points and minutes for them to work from. The family carers asked for and got a dedicated section of the Danshell website, an on-line forum and a quarterly newsletter which is produced by the group to inform and engage with all family and carers. The communication they produce can be their own experiences, helpful information about benefits, power of attorney, guardianship and much more.
Rebecca as a clear understanding of the need for good communication and inclusivity and has worked closely with our team of consultant nurses and service users to create person centred tools and care plans which are part of the record keeping policy and used as standard across all services. This makes sure we listen to service users and their families and capture their compelling visions for the future and act on them.
In the last year, Rebecca has worked alongside Karen Flood from the National Forum for People with Learning Disabilities and Jenny Anderton to train the people who use our services in becoming Experts by Experience or Quality Checkers. Service users check other services to make sure they are delivering good care. They are part of the Quality Development Review (QDR) Team which is our own robust audit programme. Checking tools have been made for people to be a part of this process and their feedback is included as an important section of the QDR report which goes to the board.
Her hard work and dedication shows in her work, and we are so pleased that her efforts have been nationally recognised.
You can read more about the awards at: http://www.nationalldawards.co.uk/