Linking disabled people and communities

This strand of my life is lived out through my role as an Associate with the National Development Team for Inclusion (check out this 3 minute video describing NDTi or here to go to the NDTi homepage). I have been with the NDTi since 1999, and have worked with around 150 organisations across the United Kingdom. Most of this work has been with services that support people experiencing mental health issues or living with learning disabilities, but some work has been with other groups. Lots of the work is about being human, so it is easy to apply it anywhere.

The last homely house

What makes a house a home? When a person with disabilities moves from their own home to live in a residential care facility or some other place, they lose their home. Some people technically retain their own home, but it is invaded by an army of well-meaning health and care staff, who unwittingly make the person homeless, even if they still hold the deeds or the tenancy. If we understand what makes a house a home, then we can perhaps learn to uphold the person’s sense of home. Read more in How to make a homely care home.

We’re just like a family

As well as calling on ideas of home, many residential care facilities choose to describe themselves as ‘just like a family’. In this companion piece to How to make a homely care home we consider How to make a family-based care home.

How to close or relocate a service

Medieval texts on the art of dying focused on the final moments of good people and the modern hospice movement has added quality of life to the palliative care agenda. Lessons can be borrowed from the literal death of the individual and applied to the closure of organisations, teams and services that are killed off by Covid-19, austerity or the machinations of commissioning. Should we think together about closure and relocation of health and social care services?

Please may I have a copy of my scan?

I am involved with a research project during which participants are invited to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. People, of course, have a right to receive a copy of the scan image, and, indeed, some people have asked for a copy of their scan image. A bunch of us mused about why, and then looked at some of the literature. Read more here.

Painting the minibus

Should vehicles that belong to health and social care services carry their name, logo or other messages? Do these coachpainted adverts deserve the name stigmobile? Read more…

Inclusive risk assessment

Do risk assessment forms commonly include the expectation that people will participate in inclusive community settings and engage with the general public? A long risk assessment form for outings from a care home or similar setting is offered here here along with a one-page summary called ‘7 Great Questions

Austerity Triangles

The Austerity Triangles help in thinking through how to promote independence and inclusion in an age of austerity. Financial pressures have combined with demographic changes and service transformation to create an unprecendented squeeze on health and social care services. The Austerity Triangles provide a new way to generate practical ideas that hold on to the fundamental goals of services while addressing the gritty reality of life on the front line. Participants leave the whole-day workshop with ideas about how to move forward with individuals, colleagues and management.

Forensic services for people 55+

What is life like for people aged 55 or older who use forensic mental health services? What are the issues that they face, what gets in the way and what helps? The Lived Experience Advisory Group for this research study are adding real value to the work.

Commissioning services for people with autism

What would brilliant commissioning look like for autistic people? This page draws together a few resources that might start to address this question. See more…

Time to Connect

In this project funded by the Big Lottery, I am working with NDTi colleagues to support staff working in care homes and people involved in TimeBanks. The goal is to support care home residents to get a more included life in the community. Read more about this exciting development here and have a look at some of the resources generated through the project, including the following:

Eating together

As highlighted above, we have been asking if staff in congregate care settings sit down to a shared meal with the people that they support. Who pays? When people go out and call at a cafe, pub or restaurant, do the staff eat and who pays for the meal? Read more… 

Team Risk Climate

CAIRO is a self-audit tool that links team climate with risk management. I facilitate a development day for your whole team that benchmarks your team’s approach to risk against others and supports you to build an action plan. Download a flyer here. It’s written up in a book chapter here.

Staff-run to Self-run

Before the recession, staff in the health and social care sector would often run support groups for the people using their services. Many such groups have already closed due to pressures upon the staff. But there is an alternative – to support the group to make the transition from being run by a staff member to being self-run. Drawing on the pioneering work of The Network in Barnet, the guide here sets out one way to plan for this.

Personal Hygiene

It’s hard to be included if your clothes are unwashed and your body smells. Why is it so hard to discuss poor hygiene, when we all know people who struggle with this issue? A two year investigation has unearthed some fascinating insights into this baffling and hazardous lifestyle. You can:

  • book a training day for your multi-agency safeguarding panel or others who are interested in working out local solutions together – just click the saleroom tab;
  • check out some resources already assembled, including a checklist here which gives a few starting points for action; a paper reflecting on whose needs are being met here and an online book on the topic here.

Social Inclusion Training Pack

This is a resource file explaining many different ways to support someone to build an included life. You can buy the pack (details here), but it works best with training, so please get in touch. An early version of this catalogue of interventions designed to promote inclusion can be found in chapter 11 of Rachel Perkins and Julie Repper’s book Social Inclusion and Recovery here.

A training day on Community Mapping helps you move beyond simple directories to explore fundamental attitudes towards communities, the assets carried by informal networks and the ever-changing microclimates hosted within all community organisations. A really simple checklist for use when visiting a community setting is available here, and there’s more detailed material in the Subject Index.

Striving for Excellence in locked rehabilitation

This programme is largely for independent and voluntary sector providers of locked residential rehabilitation services for people with mental health issues or learning disabilities living in the English East Midlands. It comprises (i) a series of seminars for key staff and people using services to promote a more personalised and inclusive approach; (ii) a shared sense of what excellent services look like, captured in an excellence framework; (iii) learning exchange visits between members which lead to individual action plans for each service; and (iv) stories of how services are striving for excellence that capture and share ideas for service improvement. We have recently developed a page of resources here on the introduction of the smoking ban. Networking groups in the East Midlands include:

  • The Striving for Excellence Programme
  • East Midlands Recovery and Outcomes Group – website here, contact here.
  • The East Midlands Learning Disability Nurse Network – here.
  • The East Midlands Acquired Brain Injury Forum
  • Independent Neurorehabilitation Alliance – here

Green Light Toolkit

An examination of how mainstream mental health services respond to the needs of people who also have autism or learning disabilities. You can see the first report here and the updated Green Light Toolkit for self assessment here. A long reading list on this topic can be found here, easy-read resources are here and an assortment of other interesting resources are here.

Advocacy Quality Performance Mark

I am working with QPM to assess Advocacy organisations against their Quality Performance Mark. The QPM has been devised in partnership with Advocacy organisations and is a rigorous process of document review and interview that leads to the award of the QPM award of service quality. More here.

Social inclusion

I have been training services in socially inclusive practice for twenty years and have a wide range of resources to help you support individuals at risk of exclusion. The goal is to move from attending to belonging, and to have the same opportunities as everyone else. You can download a listing of half day modules and their learning outcomes here or read more about it in the book chapter I wrote with Jo Seddon in 2008 here.

The Inclusion Web

This is an evaluation tool that works with the person to plan and evaluate progress towards an included life. See here for further information.

(Graphic drawn by Jon Ralphs see his website here)