Olivia and Jo join the psychology team

Assistant Psychologists Olivia Shepherd and Jovita Valuckaite have joined Julita Frackowska in the psychology team, which is headed up by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Pedro Areias Grilo.

The Assistant Psychologists are assigned to specific service users depending on their needs and the homes in which they live. Julita supports service users in 2 & 8 Kingsthorpe Grove who have learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and mental health needs. Olivia works with service users at 144 Boughton Green Road and The Mews, providing psychological and practical support for people with acquired brain injuries and mental health needs, and Jo works with service users at 23 Duston Road and The Mews, supporting people with acquired brain injuries, dual diagnosis, mental health needs and behaviour that challenges.

The Assistant Psychologists perform an important role, completing psychometric assessments for service users to monitor cognition, mood, mental state and behaviour. They provide psychological reports for each individual, which include a functional analysis of their risk behaviours which is used to inform their individualised treatment plan. They also offer advice, psychological support (including cognitive behavioural therapy, cognitive stimulation therapy, substance misuse work and relaxation) as well as providing practical support such as budgeting and functional living skills.

Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr Pedro Areias Grilo heads the psychology team. He is an inspiration to his colleagues due to his work ethic and methodical approach but most of all, he is immensely passionate about making a difference to service users. He works closely with other members of our multi-disciplinary clinical team, especially Consultant Neuropsychiatrist Dr Seth Mensah, to develop individualised treatment plans for service users. He also works directly with the service users to provide therapy, supporting them and monitoring their progress. In addition, Pedro oversees the work of the Assistant Psychologists, both supporting them in their role to deliver therapy and complete standard assessments but also challenging them academically to find better ways of working.

Olivia Shepherd and Jovita Valuckaite

From left to right: Assistant Psychologists Olivia Shepherd and Jovita Valuckaite

Dawn is finalist in Learning Disabilities Awards

Dawn BriggsWe’re delighted to report that Dawn Briggs reached the final of the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2017 in the Support Worker of the Year Award.

Dawn started work at The Richardson Partnership for Care in 1995 as an Administrator and Co-ordinator/ Activity Support Worker, soon becoming an integral part of the home, developing relationships with service users.

To care means genuine concern for others, to listen, empower, be adaptable, dedicated and have integrity. Dawn has all of these attributes, most of all she is sociable, compassionate and good natured. She is dependable and responsive to people’s needs, wants and aspirations.

An essential part of Dawn’s ethos is her interpersonal skills, enabling her to relate to service users and understand individual’s differences. On many occasions Dawn has gone the extra mile to help service users, which demonstrate her strengths as a carer.

Here is just one example of Dawn’s supportive and compassionate nature and we are very proud to have her as part of our team.

Denise’s story
In the early years, one service user in particular, named Denise, started becoming close to Dawn. In 1998, Dawn invited her into the office for coffee. When Denise showed an interest in photocopying, Dawn was patient and took time to show Denise how it worked. After a couple of months Denise felt confident to start using the photocopier.

Denise has now been working in the office with Dawn for 19 years and Dawn has become an integral part of her care. She has supported Denise with her personal care, medical appointments and shopping trips, as well as making her feel valued in her role in the office. Dawn is never phased by Denise’s, at times, ‘colourful’ behaviour, and calmly, verbally de-escalates any anxiety that Denise feels, which has enabled her to live a more fulfilling life.

Dawn is now the most significant person in Denise’s life, which can be illustrated by a situation recently when Denise became critically ill with a life threatening condition. After being admitted to the local hospital, she was transferred to an ICU ward in an induced coma, in a specialist neurological hospital in another county.

Dawn took time out of her day to travel to the unit, where she spent time talking and reassuring Denise’s family: her mother, sister and brother.

Dawn also sat with Denise, talking quietly about their 19 years. In fact, Dawn was the first person that Denise asked for when she woke from her coma, and Dawn was there.

Thank you letter
And this is the letter that Denise’s sister wrote to Jackie Mann, Registered Manager at Denise’s home:

“I wanted to drop you a line to tell you again what wonderful people you all are for looking after my beloved sister Denise, and I would like to personally thank Dawn who is like a second mum to my sister. She has given her the time and patience to learn new skills while working in the office with her and helps Denise with all her personal needs, which is a difficult task with Denise. And recently, with Denise’s stay in hospital, Dawn went above and beyond for Denise. I could see the bond they have, which was wonderful to see. The first person Denise asked for when she woke up from her coma was Dawn. Please pass on my thanks to her for caring for my sister, which she does flawlessly, and to you and all your wonderful team.”

My warmest regards,
Mrs Karen Bence

 

John enjoys his first ever holiday

We’ll soon be holding a birthday party at a local pub for John, one of our service users. That may not sound unusual, but on this occasion it is. John has been in our care for over 20 years and has rarely chosen to go out. He has learning disabilities and complex needs and he presented with very challenging and aggressive behaviour when he first came to us.

John has also achieved another major milestone – taking his first ever holiday when he went to the seaside town of Skegness in Lincolnshire for four days. He was supported by Selina, a review co-ordinator at The Richardson Partnership for Care, with whom he has a great rapport.

Skegness beachIt has taken years of hard work and consistent support from our trans-disciplinary team of therapists and our care support workers to enable John to develop his confidence and control his behaviour in order to take this huge step. To help him experience and enjoy the holiday as much as possible, it was booked at short notice. He chose where he went and who he wanted to accompany and support him. During the holiday he was in full control of what he did.

Dr Mick Clarke, a close family member of John said: “John is having the best care he has ever received and your professional and devoted work with him has enabled him to grow in confidence and become a happy man.”

“Selina’s total commitment to him has supported him to the extent that he has finally been able to go on holiday. Your team at the Richardson Partnership for Care has allowed him to blossom into the lovely caring man that was always there.”

“Your plans for him over the years to withdraw drug therapy and support John through specialist behaviour plans has meant he is becoming more socially skilled and a joy to be with. Going on holiday has meant John’s confidence has moved to another level.”

The holiday was such a success that he has requested to go back again next year as well as choosing to celebrate his birthday with a party at an external venue. This story demonstrates that consistent care and support, while providing opportunities for social integration and decision-making can lead to increasing fulfilment and autonomy.  Sometimes this is a very gradual process.

A seal in a pool at Skegness

National Learning Disability & Autism Awards 2016

We are delighted to have been shortlisted as finalists in the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2016 in the Employer Award category.

In order for us to provide a consistently high quality of service to the people in our care, we recognise that we need to have skilled, caring and hard-working employees who are dedicated to their work. It is only fair that we support them as best we can and help them to gain the skills that they need to progress in their roles, and this is what we always aim to do.

What makes us different?
Dr Pedro Areias Grilo, a Consultant Clinical Psychologist has worked at The Richardson Partnership for Care since 2014 and has a substantial array of clinical experience, both in the private and public healthcare sectors. This allows him to have significant insight and awareness about the services that we offer to meet effectively the needs of individuals we cater for. He has highlighted what makes The Richardson Partnership for Care stand out against other care homes.

Supporting staff
The Richardson Partnership for Care (RPC) is on the forefront of care offered in the UK and is currently able to offer, meet and surpass the needs of all individuals they cater for. They strive to go the extra mile to effectively support people. How? They empower staff to strive and accomplish. They develop their staff through in-house weekly training sessions, weekly reflective practice facilitated by Consultant Clinical Psychologists, effective supervision and open-door practice. Likewise, staff feel skilled, supported, cared, involved and motivated to deliver outstanding care and to strive on their roles. The professional satisfaction, sense of belonging and ability to acknowledge what needs to be done to support individuals in need is immense. This impacts positively on the care being delivered. The individuals’ lives change immensely and they feel they are part of a family, rather than people just “living” in a place. They have a home, a family, a social network and happiness. This is what care is about: Enhancement of life quality. The Richardson Partnership for Care without any doubts, offers this and much more.

Multi-disciplinary team
RPC also employs a Multidisciplinary team (MDT), currently offering to the individuals they support an in-house Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, two Consultants Clinical Psychologists, one part-time and one full-time Assistant Psychologist, one Occupational Therapist, one Physiotherapist and one Speech and Language Therapist. I must say, this is extraordinary. As evidenced, RPC has the ability to offer in-house clinicians to immediately and efficiently meet all the needs of the individuals they support.

Innovations
There are also constant innovations. The MDT and Registered Home Managers meet frequently to evaluate the best treatment and intervention plans to support the individuals they cater for. In-house treatment directories were developed, based on NICE guidelines and clinical evidence, to effectively meet and support individuals’ needs. This makes a substantial difference in terms of care being delivered.

I believe RPC could offer what the majority of other organizations do. But no. They have decided to take the hard route. The route that requires an outstanding commitment, the route that might bring discussions, challenges, the route that brings changes, the route that takes people out of their comfort zone. However, this is the route to excellence, which RPC is and will continue to follow.

Greg and Laura are far ahead of their time. They have a clear understanding of the service they offer and where it must go. They have the individuals’ care on the centre of their hearts and the awareness and rationality to observe, analyze, discuss and establish action plans to meet individuals’ needs. This makes the difference and impacts substantially on the service being delivered. This brings innovation and positive changes to care services in the UK.

Dr Pedro Areias Grilo
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Birmingham University Honorary Tutor

What makes RPC different?

Selina gains Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care

Congratulations to Selina Vernon, Assessor and Review Co-ordinator at our homes for adults with learning difficulties, who has completed her Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care. This is a new qualification and Selina is the first person to pass it in the UK with training and qualifications body ARC (Association for Real Change).

It was recognised that there was a need for senior people in the residential care sector who were not registered managers but wanted to gain a management qualification. This Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care fills the gap below the new Level 5 Leadership qualification and covers areas such as:

  • Advanced communication skills
  • Implementing equality and diversity policies
  • Facilitating support planning to ensure positive outcomes for individuals and to support well-being
Selina Vernon

Selina Vernon has achieved the new Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care

Selina achieved her qualification by assessment in the workplace with support and quality assurance/verification from ARC. Selina commented: “After completing my assessors’ award, I wanted to develop my knowledge further to be able to better support the individuals in my care and also my candidates. The level 4 was a natural progression with a good range of units to cater for different care environments. The units were relevant and required me to push myself in order to develop my knowledge to achieve the diploma. The support I received from ARC was fantastic.”

Congratulations also go to Joanna Okoro, Mike Femi Ayenitaju and Ranga Gorejena who have achieved Level 3 Diplomas in Health and Social Care.

At The Richardson Partnership for Care our aim to enable people to realise their potential, applies to our staff as well as our service users. Staff are given the opportunity, encouragement and support to build their knowledge and confidence and to better meet the diverse needs of all of the individuals that we care for. As well as the opportunity to take a range of qualifications, all support staff complete a comprehensive training schedule which involves them attending training every three weeks as part of their working rota. This includes statutory training such as health and safety and food hygiene as well as crisis prevention, epilepsy, dementia and working with people with learning disabilities. More information on our training schedule can be found here:

For more information about the qualification, go to the ARC website.

Feedback from Service Users’ families

At The Richardson Partnership for Care we strive to provide an open environment, welcoming feedback from service users’ families about the care of their loved ones. We also complete an annual survey, which provides family members with a more formal opportunity to tell us about their views on the care, support and rehabilitation services that we provide for adults with acquired brain injuries and learning difficulties.

The survey is entirely optional and consequently the number of responses can be quite small. However, we are very proud of the feedback that we have received.

100% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“I am happy with the care provided”

100% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“I feel that my relative is treated with dignity and respect”

100% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“I feel that their quality of life has improved since they arrived at The Richardson Partnership for Care”

100% of respondents said that they would recommend The Richardson Partnership for Care

93% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“The home has a warm, non-institutional feeling.”

93% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement:
“The home has an inclusive or family environment.”

We scored less highly on updating service users’ families with information – only 69% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the statement: “I am regularly updated with information.” This is therefore something for us to focus on and improve upon.

We were pleased to receive the following comments:

“All staff are great and some exceptional.”

“His life quality has improved considerably over the last 11.5 years. He lives in a calm, comfortable, caring, clean environment where he is encouraged to relax – waylaying his self-harm and anxiety”

“His life skills have developed from him being nervous and frightened to a confident and happy man.”

“Our thanks as a family for our daughter’s care and treatment.”

“He is very well cared for by professional carers who not only meet his needs, but work to challenge him to develop his social skills.”

We would like to thank all of the family members who took the time to complete our annual survey. If you would like any further information about our services, please contact us.

Care homes shine in independent feedback

At The Richardson Partnership for Care, we strive to have an open relationship with service users and their families so that they can tell us straight away if they are concerned about any aspect of their care or their home. We hold regular care reviews as well as completing an annual survey.

This year we have also encouraged service users and their families to provide feedback directly to the online directory carehome.co.uk. Our homes for adults with learning difficulties, 2 & 8 Kingsthorpe Grove, achieved a recommendation score of 9.6 out of 10 from the directory, and we are very proud of some of comments they received. For example, here is a comment from a parent of one of our service users with learning difficulties:

“Our son was taken in by Jayne Payne in 2009. He was in a terrible mental state, he’d been sectioned in Oxford in 2007 for violence, and he had always lived at home until then. Well, Jane and her staff worked and worked with him until he is almost like his old lovely self. They bring him home to us once a month on the Isle of Wight for two days and he looks forward to this as much as we do. We cannot say enough good things about the home: they saved our lives and our son’s. The medical care is fantastic and they are always loving and tolerant of our son, even on his bad days.”
Jane S

And this is what one of the service users had to say:
“I like it here, I am happy here and all of the jobs I do. I like the staff. I go out for drinks and meals out. I have had my bedroom painted. I like my bathroom. I like my lunches. It is a good place to live.”

Click here to see a summary of the survey results  or here to go to the carehome.co.uk directory

A collage created by service users at 8 Kingsthorpe Grove

A collage created by service users at 8 Kingsthorpe Grove

Dementia awareness training

There is a rolling training programme every three weeks for care staff at The Richardson Partnership for Care and one of the topics is dementia awareness. The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and people with learning difficulties and people who have experienced stroke or head injuries have a higher risk of dementia.

During the training sessions, staff learn about some of the more common types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, frontotemporal dementia as well as rarer causes of dementia such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Korsakoff’s syndrome and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).

Symptoms of dementia
Dementia describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem solving or language. As the symptoms can be consistent with different types of learning difficulty or acquired brain injury, it is important for staff to be aware of them and that dementia is a progressive condition. Dementia progresses as the structure and the chemistry of the brain become increasingly damaged over time.

The initial symptoms of dementia for someone with severe learning difficulties may not be typical. They may be changes in personality or behaviour, and therefore dementia may be harder to diagnose.  Our care support workers, home managers and multi-disciplinary team of therapists work closely with the service users in our care and keep daily records as part of their care plan. This familiarity and the knowledge of the care team, combined with regular reviews, help us to identify any health issues that our service users experience. Each service user is registered with a GP and has their own health passport.

Treatment and support
The dementia awareness training looks at how some medications can slow the progression of dementia and how diet and nutrition can help. It also covers activities, memories and how the environment can play a part in helping people with dementia to feel more secure.  At The Richardson Partnership for Care, our homely environment, familiar and structured routine can help people with dementia to feel safe and comfortable.  In addition, our person-centred approach helps to identify each person’s individual needs and supports them during everyday life, however their needs change.

Bedroom at The Richardson Partnership for Care

Our homely environment, familiar and structured routine can help people with learning difficulties or acquired brain injury and dementia to feel more secure

Training materials relating to dementia can be purchased from The Alzheimer’s Society, which provides a wide range of information www.alzheimers.org.uk

Jane is Finalist in National LD and Autism Awards

Jane Payne, Service Manager at The Richardson Partnership for Care is a finalist in the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2015.

She was nominated for the Employer Award for her commitment to providing top quality care to people with learning disabilities by heading a group of specialist residential care homes in Northampton. Jane has responsibility for supervising the managers and support staff, and has overall accountability to the owners. She is entirely service-user focused and always assesses the impact on service users when making decisions.

Jane has been praised for achieving a careful balance of providing empathetic, ethical care and maintaining a successful business. She believes that the two can go hand in hand and that profitability is vital to safeguard placements and provide a sustainable stable home for service users. Thanks to Jane, The Richardson Partnership for Care has thrived and grown over the last few years.

One of people who recommended Jane for the award was the father of a service user who has learning difficulties. He said: “I have worked with Jane, as my son’s advocate and in other capacities, for the past ten years and I am very familiar with, and a great admirer of the leadership she provides for all of her staff and, through this, the incredibly high quality of the care the homes provide. Jane’s personality shines through all of the dealings I have had with the Company. Her dedication to her staff and residents, from the major strategic issues down to the tiniest detail is outstanding.”

He added: “Through the leadership provided by and the example set by Jane, the culture of the company is a very open one, not only internally but also with respect to residents’ families and advocates. I can genuinely describe the excellent staff led so brilliantly by Jane as a ‘happy ship’ – and a very professional one.”

Jane Payne

Jane Payne, Service Manager at The Richardson Partnership for Care

Nominations for National Learning Disability and Autism Awards

We are pleased to nominate three members of staff for the National Learning Disability and Autism Awards 2015.

Wendy Coleman is Manager at 23 Duston Road, a home registered for nine service users, providing care for people with challenging behaviour. Wendy ensures that care is truly person-centred and the service users are at the heart of any decisions she makes within the home. Wendy has challenging individuals living in her home and still manages to ensure a happy, homely atmosphere whilst providing an excellent clinical care package. She works closely with the multi-disciplinary team of therapists including Clinical Psychologists, OT, SALT, Physiotherapists and Psychiatrist to ensure service users receive the right care plans and interventions.

Wendy Coleman

Wendy Coleman, nominated for the Manager of the Year Award

Jane Payne, Service Manager, has been nominated for the Employer Award for her commitment to providing top quality care to people with learning disabilities by heading our group of homes. Jane has responsibility for supervising the managers and support staff, and has overall accountability to us, the owners. She is entirely service-user focused and always assesses the impact on service users when making decisions.

Jane has achieved a careful balance of providing empathetic, ethical care and maintaining a successful business. She believes that the two can go hand in hand and that profitability is vital to safeguard placements and provide a sustainable stable home for service users. Thanks to Jane, our homes have thrived and grown over the last few years.

Jane Payne

Jane Payne, nominated for the Employer Award

Patience Vushemasimba has been nominated for the Support Worker Award because of her compassionate, cheerful and very caring attitude that contributes to her skills as a support worker. She brightens the rooms with her greetings and smile, and has a genuine concern for others, including the people she looks after and the colleagues she works alongside. Patience offers support no matter what the person’s background or condition is that makes their day a bit of a challenge. Patience listens and empowers those in her care by encouragement, helping them to regain, maintain or improve their skills towards independence.

We would like to thank Wendy, Jane and Patience for their continued commitment and wish them best of luck in the awards. We hope that they can follow in Jackie Mann’s footsteps as she was a finalist last year! If you think that any of our staff deserve an award, please let us know.