Norman Lane is a supported living service supporting 4 gentlemen with learning disabilities in Bradford and they were nominated by their manager Jo Clarke.
In her nomination Jo described how 18 months ago one client started to present with verbal and physical outbursts. He was showing signs of anxiety and became aggressive with no apparent triggers, which was difficult to understand for the client and staff. This was something they had not done before.
They referred him to intensive support and psychiatry and they completed a PBS support plan. The service contacted the council and staff explained why they were struggling to meet the needs of this client alongside their duty of care to the other 3 clients at the service as at some parts of the day staff were loan working with all 4 clients. It was agreed that they could have 35 hours contingency to use to support the client 2.1 to enable him to access community as he was unable to go out alone as he had previously due to his anxiety. It was so severe some days he could not get past the door and into the garden. It became apparent that the clients home environment was too noisy and too busy .He also said he wanted to move to somewhere quieter.
The staff team continued to work their contracted hours and also covered the 35 hours contingency and each other’s annual leave to provide consistent support whilst trying to balance their home life. The team worked long hours, then been woken in the early hours as the client has required support due to his deteriorating anxiety. Throughout this staff continued to support the client emotionally and during physical aggressive outbursts have also had to support other clients to ensure safety for everyone.
The team during this time developed professional relationships with members of the MDT to safeguard all concerned and supported each other when sometimes they were disappointed and felt nothing they were doing was helping the Client or the situation. In fact, the opposite was true; everything they were doing was helping and without the hard work of the team this clients mental health could have been much worse.
A request was made for funding to move the client to a one person service and this was turned down by the council. Despite this staff continued to support all clients and one client was asked if he wanted an advocate.
The team had meetings with social workers and the clients to ensure other clients views were also being heard as one client no longer wanted to live in this intense environment.
This client was supported by St Anne’s staff to write to the council to tell them how he felt living with someone he was frightened of. This letter was used as evidence of the impact one client had on another. During an appeal for funding for the 1.1 service – along with lots of evidence of everything the team had tried to do to support all the clients – the appeal was successful and now the service has the funding they need to support the client to move to a new home.
This was an excellent example of staff working together as a team and supporting someone with complex needs to get better and empower another Client to improve their life by moving to their own home. There was lots of evidence in the nomination of working with other professionals and representing St Anne’s in a committed and professional manner and for this reason I felt they were a very worthy winner of a Top Team Award!
The Client has now successfully moved to his own home being support by staff that know him and I had the pleasure to meet him when the team were surprised with their award at a team meeting recently.
Mark Fennelly – Regional Operations Manager