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

 

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.

Continuity and staff development in residential care

The goals of our organisation include enabling people to realise their potential and this applies to our staff as well as our service users. Staff are given the opportunity, encouragement and support to reach their potential, build their knowledge and confidence and to better meet the diverse needs of all of the individuals that we care for.

All 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 and working with people with learning disabilities. More information on our training schedule can be found here.

On top of this training schedule, staff are able to given the opportunity to take a range of qualifications that enable them to learn and develop in the care setting.

We would like to acknowledge and congratulate all those who have worked hard to achieve qualifications and awards. The following members of staff have achieved Health and Social Care qualifications since 2013.

Level 4 HSC Health and Social Care
Vanessa Phelan
Dawn Walters
Jan Hartley

Level 3 HSC Health and Social Care
Selina Vernon
Natasha Labrum
Tony O’Reilly

Diploma Level 3 Health and Social Care
Bernice Dery
Naana Koram
Natalia Thumwood
Jennie Everest

Diploma Level 2 Health and Social Care
Nicola Butler
Allyson Hearn

Also, Natasha Labrum and Jackie Mann have achieved Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Individuals with Learning Disabilities, along with Selina Vernon who has also gained Level 3 Assessors Award and PTLLS (Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector).

There are currently four people working towards the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership in Health and Social Care, ten people working towards Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, one person working towards the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Social Care and one person working towards the Level 3 Certificate in Supporting Individuals with Learning Disabilities. An additional 12 people are on the waiting list to start a Diploma or Certificate.

Well done to everyone who has achieved their qualifications and certificates, and good luck to all of our staff who are working towards their goals – we are here to support you!

New Year skills and training

Firstly, I’d like to wish you a happy and fulfilling 2014.

As the New Year starts we often think about developing new skills or improving the ones we have already. At The Richardson Partnership for Care, training and skills are priority all year round – for both our service users with acquired brain injury or learning difficulties and our staff.

We have a low turnover of staff in our care homes, which means continuity and stability for our service users. We also encourage staff to increase their learning and develop their skills, and they often come to us with requests to study in areas relating to their work.

For example:

  • Karen Hurrell, Manager at The Mews, and Wendy Coleman, Manager at 32 Duston Road, are starting a Brain Injury Management level 6 course this month.
  • Louise Pittam, Manager of our Admissions and Referrals Team and Dexter Griffin, our Maintenance Manager, will be taking part in leadership courses to assist them in their management roles
  • In December, Jacky Johnson, Manager at 144 Boughton Green Road, and Service Manager Jane Payne, completed a three-day intensive top-up course in Crisis Prevention. This enabled them to reinforce and update their skills in managing disruptive situations in a respectful, non-invasive way. It also ensures that they are certified by the Crisis Prevention Institute and can provide training in Crisis Prevention to our other staff members.

We’re proud of our team and welcome their requests for additional training.

Staff Profile – Natasha Bissett

This is part of a series of blog posts which we have created to introduce you to our team of professionals who make up the backbone of our organisation. The posts feature staff across the whole business: in the homes, referrals and admissions, multi-disciplinary therapies, maintenance, etc. They are written as a relaxed conversation, so you can get to know the “people” in our team.


Natasha Bissett is the Administration Co-ordinator at our Boughton Green Rd Home and she has been with us since December 2011.  Natasha is the angel of the house who keeps everyone on their toes and supports her Home Manager (Jacky Johnson) wherever she is needed.  Her biggest responsibility is ensuring that all the administrative tasks are covered in ensuring that the home is run in an efficient manner – that all the activities and even procedural needs that stem from the kind of care we provide, are attended to and every detail is paid attention to.

Natasha holds an NVQ qualification in Business Administration which is a great help in the work she does. Her favourite part of working for RPC and particularly in the Boughton Green Rd Home is in how varied her role is and that she is fortunate to work with lovely co-workers and Service Users – day in and day out.

When her four year old daughter allows her any spare time Natasha enjoys relaxing with a good book and a cosy glass wine, or socialising with friends! Otherwise she enjoys family activities with her husband and daughter (including many a week-end in Hereford, spending time with some close friends.)

If you would like to learn more about our Boughton Green Rd home or chat to one of our Admissions and Referrals Team about a tour – please contact Sian, Diane, Bill or Louise on 01604 791 266.

Staff Profile – Jacky Johnson

This is part of a series of blog posts which we have created to introduce you to our team of professionals who make up the backbone of our organisation. The posts feature staff across the whole business: in the homes, referrals and admissions, multi-disciplinary therapies, maintenance, etc. They are written as a relaxed conversation, so you can get to know the “people” in our team.
 Jacky Johnson | Homes Manager, Richardson Partnership for Care
Jacky Johnson is our Homes Manager at Boughton Green Rd and she has been with us since February 2011. Much like our other Homes Managers Jacky has a wide area of accountability when it comes to managing the staff, premises and of course overseeing the care of our Service Users. Her biggest responsibility is ensuring the well being of the Service Users and making sure that the required level of care is provided to meet the individual needs of each Service User.

As part of her role as a Manager, Jacky is tasked with promoting and maintaining an environment that secures the health, wellbeing, welfare, safety and security of the staff and Service Users in her care.  There are of course operational, regulatory and financial elements to Jacky’s role – which include implementing and maintaining Operational Policies and Procedures; managing a Home budget; as well as complying with the Health and Social Care Act (and other relevant legislation). Each Home Manager networks with the local business community and social community interest groups to engage the surrounding businesses and interested local residents in the work that Richardson does – and Jacky really enjoys this part of her role.

Jacky holds a Diploma in Social Work (Dip SW) and in Brain Injury Awarenss (Module) and is hard pressed to pick one thing out of her work at RPC that she enjoys the most. She takes great pleasure in managing her staff; working with the Service Users; dealing with families and of course the business element to the role (relating to local businesses and professional organisations) which helps to bolster our relationships within the community.

In her spare time Jacky likes to stay fit and in shape by going to gym, and of course enjoys socialising with close friends and family.

If you would like to chat to Jacky about her role, ask about a tour of our Boughton Green Rd Home or wish to find out more about what we do at Richardsons, please contact her on 01604 791 266 or jacky.johnson@careresidential.co.uk. If you work in our industry and are interested in connecting with Jacky, you can find her on LinkedIn.

Staff Profile – Diane Baker

This is part of a series of blog posts which we have created to introduce you to our team of professionals who make up the backbone of our organisation. The posts feature staff across the whole business: in the homes, referrals and admissions, multi-disciplinary therapies, maintenance, etc. They are written as a relaxed conversation, so you can get to know the people in our team.


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 diane.baker@careresidential.co.uk. If you work in our industry and are interested in connecting with Diance, you can find her on Linkedin here.

Staff Profile – Louise Pittam

This is part of a series of blog posts which we have created to introduce you to our team of professionals who make up the backbone of our organisation. The posts feature staff across the whole business: in the homes, referrals and admissions, multi-disciplinary therapies, maintenance, etc. They are written as a relaxed conversation, so you can get to know the people in our team.


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 louise.pittam@careresidential.co.uk. If you work in our industry and are interested in connecting with Louise, you can find her on Linkedin here.

World Congress on Brain Injury 2012 – Our Trip to Edinburgh

Wendy Coleman, our Homes Manager at Duston Rd, represented us at the World Congress on Brain Injury in Scotland last month. She really enjoyed the event and especially liked meeting many of the Delegates. Some of the types of people she got to meet and share ideas with were people from away (the international Delegates); neurosurgeons; rehabilitation physicians; psychologists; speech and language specialists; Occupational Therapists; physiotherapists; Social Workers; Legal professionals in the industry and Case Managers.

One of the main elements that caught Wendy’s attention was about the kind of research and care provided in different Countries. She got the impression that there seems to be a lack of services for After Care or Residential Care abroad (like the kind of service we offer at Richardsons). Obviously as part of attending an event of this magnitude on this specialist subject, it was a great opportunity to get to know the other exhibitor’s and network with the professionals in our industry.

On the first day, the seminar called “Rehabilitation of Challenging Behaviour” was really insightful and was delivered as a panel of experts chaired by Rodger Wood PhD. The speakers talked about:

  • the management of the confused-agitated patient in the acute phase of recovery
  • cognitive behavioural approaches in the rehabilitation of challenging behaviour
  • a community rehabilitation approach to managing challenging behaviour
  • a neurobehavioral approach to the management of serious aggressive behaviour.

On the third day, the session called “Long Term Survival and Life Expectancy After Head Injury” was a session where (for the first time) mortality and the cause of death were discussed and the findings from some long term case studies between the US and the UK were shared with the attendees. Thomas McMillian PhD (Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology from the University of Glasgow), presented his talk entitled “Mortality 13 Years after a Head Injury: A Prospective Investigation” which really hit home the full impact on a person who has an acquired injury…over an extended period of time – helping us to understand the nuances of the initial, short term, medium term and long term effects that carers or rehabilitation workers need to be (1) aware of and be able to (b) include this vital knowledge into their care/rehabilitation path.

As a nice close to the event, we received some great feedback as some delegates that Wendy got to speak to already knew of Richardsons. One Case Manager in particular, who has placed a Service User in our care, gave positive feedback on the progress we had made with this Service User and the standard of care we provide.

Since Wendy returned from Edinburgh, we have also received a positive lead from a lady who deals with catastrophic injury who didn’t know about us before Edinburgh. Over all – a superb event…very well attended and we got a lot out of being there.

Identifying, Caring and Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

“The term “vulnerable adults” covers an extremely wide range of individuals, some of whom may be incapable of looking after any aspect of their lives and others who may be experiencing short periods of illness or disability with an associated reduction in their ability to make decisions.” – British Medical Association

Our definition of a vulnerable adult in practical terms is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to:

  • take care of themselves, or
  • protect themselves from harm, or
  • from being exploited by someone else.

In our business, the most common route to someone being defined as “vulnerable” is where they have a learning disability or they have an acquired brain injury which has rendered them with some kind of sensory, physical or emotional impairment.

We have a high level of continuous professional development amongst the staff in our homes who deal directly with our service users in their day-to-day lives and in the progress of their rehabilitation. During the induction period of a new service user and indeed throughout their stay with us, we need to have the skills inhouse to be able to identify when a service user should be qualified as “vulnerable” in order to ensure their own personal safety.

Jackie Mann, our Homes Manager at Kingsthorpe Grove, completed her  “Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults:(mandatory) Level 3, Investigating Skills & Chairing Safeguarding Concerns Meetings” course in February 2012.  The aims and objectives of completing this course are to understand the process of investigations (i.e. identifying and verifying evidence that someone is “vulnerable”); be aware of personal impact (of the investigator); create clear strategies for confidentiality and of course, in the end Jackie also had to demonstrate what she had learnt.

Jackie enjoyed the fact that one of the key aspects to the course was learning the structure of (a) establishing what has happened (i.e. evidence of the events/situations that have occurred), (b) identifying who was at risk and (c) collating information from all agencies involved.

“By the end of the 3 days I was able to have a better understanding of the process of the case conferences; be aware of my personal impact on this process; have an understanding of how to apply the principles of the mental capacity and decision making capabilities of the person; and demonstrate my skills of participating confidentiality and ability to contribute to effective planning. I have to say that this course will enable me to meet best practice within my role and working environment.” Jackie Mann

At the Richardson Partnership for Care we put the safety and wellbeing of our service users first. We are really pleased that Jackie has gone on this training to enhance her knowledge of the subject.  The feedback has been that our core values are complimentary to this legislation and our policies robust.