Congratulations to Sian Richardson and Angela Duggan, who have been promoted within the Admissions and Referrals team. Sian has been promoted to Admissions and Referrals Manager and Angela is now a Senior Admissions and Referrals Co-ordinator, which is due to her success in the role after only 12 months. Former Manager Louise Pittam has moved onto pastures new, while Admissions and Referrals Co-ordinator Diane Baker has decided to take some time out to go travelling. We wish them both well for the future and will be recruiting new members of the team.
Now that Spring has arrived, we are looking forward positively to the year ahead. This is often a time when young adults with learning difficulties are preparing to move from school or college to a new environment. Below we outline how we can help to enable a smooth transition and assist service users in settling in to their new environment.
Supporting young adults with learning difficulties
Moving to a new environment can be daunting for both the individual and their family so we try to make the transition as stress-free as possible. Members of our Admissions and Referral Team often take part in transitions events organised by local schools and county councils, where they explain what life is like in our care homes for young adults who have learning difficulties.
Even if a placement is not needed in the near future, it is advisable to plan for a few years ahead. This extra time can reduce the pressure and stress on families and enable them to find out about the different funding arrangements for adults. We appreciate that the transition from children’s to adults’ services means a significant change in funding. Our Admissions and Referrals team is experienced in providing information and evidence to support funding applications.
We get to know service users and their families and facilitate visits to our homes. These may be initial visits to have a look around, then perhaps a day visit where they meet the other service users. We also arrange overnight or weekend stays. The transition can take many months, or longer, so that the service users gradually become accustomed to their new home. In other cases, it is better for the service user to just move in, it depends on the individual.
Each service user has a formal, detailed assessment when they are admitted to one of our residential care homes and we develop a personalised care plan on which their care and treatment is based. Where appropriate, family members and existing social networks are consulted and involved in the assessment process.
During the pre-admission assessment, we monitor the person in different environments, such as at school and at home, so that we can continue any therapies that are seen to be working well. We also take note of situations that cause difficulties and see how these can be managed better. If service users continue to attend school, then we liaise closely with the school, often using communication books, so that we can monitor and manage any changes in behaviour.
The individual care plan ensures that the service user’s needs are fully met. This includes their daily care support, medical needs, psychology and psychiatry support, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and occupational therapy as appropriate. We also continue to support their education with learning programmes and college placements.
For more information call our Admissions and Referrals Team on 01604 791266 or take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions
The Admissions Team attended ASDAN Training in August this year, and wanted to share the experience with you our Blog readers.
As you may know, Richardsons became a centre for ASDAN back in May. ASDAN is a charitable social enterprise with awarding body status which provides programmes and qualifications to accredit skills for learning, skills for employment and skills for life.
Our team worked in groups with care staff from all of our Homes to complete sections of the Independent Living Module with a specific Service User in mind so that they could think about how they would complete the record boxes. The “record boxes” are used to reflect: the Service User’s achievements; the level of support they received; and the skills that they used. (These boxes are also then used later on to provide evidence and refer to other sections within the accreditation process.)
The types of activities the Service User may need to evidence in this Independent Living module are things like making breakfast or making a hot drink. The ASDAN programmes are brilliant in that you can simulate an activity like making a hot drink and the person (Service User) could use cool water and perform the task out of the kitchen (at a table for example) so that they still engage and achieve making a drink, but in a way that manages the risk of them being in the kitchen or around hot water. After a simulated task has been completed, our staff can then replace the simulated drink with an actual drink so that effectively the person has made their own drink in a safe way.
ASDAN recognises the level of support that people need to complete an activity which is very helpful when trying to reflect the level of skill which the Service User can achieve.
To the Admissions Team (Sian, Louise, Bill and Diane) ASDAN means that they can speak plausibly to people about specific ways in which a potential Service User could engage with the ASDAN activities. It also means that we can actively promote ASDAN as an essential part of an activity schedule within our Homes. As a team…we are also able to support a particular Service User in a particular situation with their activities, because we have also been trained alongside with the care staff in the Homes. (We are all based at The Mews, so we engage with Service Users daily.)
What we love about ASDAN is that it demonstrates that intensive residential care services can still promote and support people to maintain, gain and regain independent living skills in the most tailored and person-centred way. This fits in nicely with our ethos of person-centred care.
Louise Pittam, the Admissions and Referral Team manager (right) says that “It has made us aware that there is always something a Service User CAN do, through task simulation. Everyone should have this opportunity.”
If you would like to find out more about our person-centred care, or indeed about the ASDAN programmes we run, please feel free to give us a call on 01604 791 266. ASDAN are also on Twitter if you would like to follow them there.
Diane Baker is one of our Admissions and Referrals Co-Ordinators (based at The Mews), and has been with us since Dec 2010. Diane’s role includes liasing with families and professional bodies to promote our businesss and enhance our relationships with prospective families and partners. Her biggest focus is in ensuring that she helps to facilitate the best opportunities for the potential Service user (referral). Another of Diane’s responsibilities – along with the rest of the Admisssions and referrals team is to maintain our existing relationships with local businesses and stakeholders, as well as identify and nurture new ones – within our targeted area of care specialism (adults with brain injuries and/or learning difficulties).
Diane is not short of training and enhancing skills herself frequently! She has completed courses in a number of different subject areas including:
- Basic life support
- Food Hygience
- Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)
- Epilepsy care
- Learning Difficulties and Challenging Behaviour
- Behaviourial management
- Infection control
- Crisis Prevention
Her favourite part of working for RPC is getting to meet the families and the professionals who are looking to refer a Service User to us. She likes discussing what we do, while knowing full well what a dedictaed team we have in our homes and how each of them are genuinely interested in helping to work towards the Service User’s individual aspirations and independent development. Her most satisfiying work moments are those where she sees a Service User (who she has helped placed) achieve and progress – no matter how small the milestone or step.
A fond memory that Diane likes to relate to friends and family (and anyone who will listen) is a good giggle of a game of charades played by Service Users and staff alike during the celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee. She remembers one particular Service User who was the master of the game and mimed Eastenders (the British TV Soap)…with some censoring! It brought the house down…literally. A good laugh and a great time had by all.
To relax Diane likes to jump into the creative side of things – she enjoys music, dancing, singing, sketching and painting.
If you would like to chat to Diance about her role, or would like a tour of any of our facilities please contact her on 01604 791 266 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you work in our industry and are interested in connecting with Diance, you can find her on Linkedin here.
Here at Richardsons we are keen to stay up to date with the legal world in terms of how it affects how we can best guide our incoming and existing Service Users. Last month we invited the lovely Nicola Heales, solicitor and Head of Department (Head and Brain Injuries) at to come and meet the RPC Admissions and Referrals team (Sian, Bill, Diane and Louise) and give them some up-to-date insights into her field of experience. We also wanted the opportunity to fill her in on what we provide and the depth of our person-centred care and rehabilitation.
Nicola is a very experienced personal injury solicitor who has specialised in severe catastrophic injury claims acting for both children and adults. She has a particular interest in acquired brain injury, rehabilitation and “capacity” and is a firm believer that the early introduction of rehabilitation assists all parties to bring claims to a satisfactory resolution. Nicola adopts a multi-disciplinary approach (much like we do) – she ensures that she liaises with the medical team, case managers and the Court of Protection where necessary.
Accidents causing injury to the head can have a dramatic effect on a person’s life and the lives of their families. For this reason highly specialist solicitors who understand the needs, rights and wishes of the injured person and how their accident will affect their present and future social, employment and financial circumstances are needed. It is a complicated process and highly specialised experts are consulted in order that the injured person will receive the most compensation for the things they need. The kinds of specialised needs that would have to be provided for are things like care; therapy; accommodation; technology and aids; equipment and adaptations.
She spoke to our team about personal injury and the litigation process in rehabilitation and where rehabilitation fits. Nicola explained the elements that made up a personal injury claim, how the process works and the role of the professionals involved. This has really helped the Admissions and Referrals team better understand where we fit into the bigger picture of the experience of the injured person and the vital role we play as part of a longer term resolution of the person’s situation and their injuries.
We extend a big thank you to Nicola for her time and look forward to staying in touch – we have greatly appreciated the effort and time she gave us in sharing her knowledge and expertise with us.
If you would like to contact Nicola – you can connect with her via LinkedIn or call her Banbury (UK) office on + 44 (0) 1295 270 999. Brethertons is on Twitter – you can follow them here. You can also find interesting and useful insights on Brethertons’ other Twitter pages, why not follow @neurolawyer to see what Nicola and her colleagues are talking about? Visit the team pages on the Bretherton’s site for more information on the Head and Brain injury legal processPlease note that Richardson Partnership for Care are pleased to have great working relationships with many legal professionals and are happy to raise awareness for the great work that they do. Brethertons are one of many firms we work closely with during the process of admission and referral of new Service Users.
Louise Pittam is our Admissions and Referrals Manager (based at The Mews), and has been with us since May 2012. Louise’s role includes managing our admissions and referrals team, as well as ensuring that RPC maintain strong local relationships to build an environment that leds itself well to continuous successful referrals into our organisation. This involves her and her team keeping the right people up-to-date with who we are; what we offer; and of course where we are…at a time when we are needed the most.
Louise holds a Business and Social Administration Degree; a Certificate from the Chartered Institute of Marketing; and is also qualified as a PRINCE2 Practitioner.
Her favourite part of working for RPC involves witnessing the positive progression of Service Users which just bolsters her enthusiasm to speak to new people about RPC and what we achieve as part and parcel of our “normal” inclusive service. In fact, just the other day she watched as a Service User flew past her office window riding an adapted bicycle shouting “Come On!”…with the support from the therapist. (A great physical milestone to be able to witness!)
A mini-project which Louise would like to get her teeth into one day is working with our Service Users to formulate a Service User Guide which will be able to tell a story that encapsulates how living at RPC really is for them and how the rehabilitation helps to build life skills and promote independence. Louise thinks this would be handy for new and prospective Service Users to hear the story straight from the people who experience it.
When she does get to relax, Louise takes the opportunity to sleep! She has two young daughters who keep her busy, as well as trying to fit in a spot of exercise with her Bootcamp sessions and amateur dramatics!
If you would like to chat to Louise about her role, or would like a tour of any of our facilitates please contact her on 01604 791 266 or email@example.com. If you work in our industry and are interested in connecting with Louise, you can find her on Linkedin here.
Sian Richardson is one of our Admissions and Referrals Co-ordinators, and she is based at The Richardson Mews. She has been with us since March 2012 and is one of our newest members of staff to come on board. She is tasked with networking with relevant professionals in our industry to raise awareness of RPC and ultimately to facilitate those that need respite, transitional or residential care in finding RPC. She comes to us with extensive sales experience and together with her degree in Psychology of Human Behaviour, her compassion for her audience, as well as her passion for our service comes across really clearly.
When asked what her favourite part of her role is at RPC – she says that while she has only been in her role since March, she is still motivated by being in a position to enable a person to be moved from an inappropriate (and sometimes upsetting) environment and into our homes. To see the difference in that person and how much better their wellbeing is when they get the help, care and support they need – this is what drives Sian in her job. What helps Sian in her job is in knowing and seeing for her own eyes how much effort, detail, compassion, professionalism and genuine (human) care goes into looking after and providing for our service users.
In her spare time Sian enjoys being with her children, socialising with her friends (over a lovely glass of vino), walking her Cocker Spaniel dog and curling up with a good book (her current favourite is the Jack Reacher series by Lee Childs).
If you would like to meet with Sian or wish to find out more about what we do at Richardsons, or have a tour of our homes, please contact her on 01604 791 772 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you work in our industry and are interested in connecting with Sian, you can find her on Linkedin here.