Giving everyone a voice
There’s a team at Consensus that’s vital in order for us to understand the issues faced by the people we support, and how we can better enable them to live life in the way they want – the Quality Checkers.
The Consensus Quality Checkers regularly visit our services across the UK. They undertake audits and talk to the people who live at each service as well as those who work there. They then produce reports for Consensus management to highlight what’s working well and where improvements could be made.
Our Quality Checkers are experts on the issues faced by the people we support because they are people we support – each of them lives in a Consensus service.
Consensus Quality Checkers give a voice to the people we support. And in 2021 our Quality Checkers felt it was important to formalise that voice by creating a regular forum. Called Consensus Voices, the new forum is run by the Quality Checker team in partnership with Consensus management, and is open to every person we support.
There are three Consensus Voices forums a year, facilitated by the Quality Checkers, and Jackie Preston, their manager. Each offers the chance to discuss different topics and ways we can better support people. Outcomes are shared with everyone who works for Consensus or who lives in a Consensus service.
The forums in detail…
Each forum follows a similar format, including a talk from a guest speaker, followed by a group discussion.
The spring 2021 forum included topics on:
- A Keep Safe card – to be used when a person is out in the community and are feeling unsafe
- Health awareness – including cancer awareness
- Internet safety – how to spot email scams; keeping personal information and financial info safe online; recognising online bullying, hate crime and grooming
- Reviewing outings – to enable other people to discover good places to go/bad places to avoid
- What the Consensus values means to the people we support
The Christmas 2021 forum included topics on:
- Promoting independence – what independence looks like for different people and how Consensus teams can enable the people we support to be more independent
- Relationships – different types of relationships and how these can be different for different people
The spring 2022 forum included:
- A talk from the Consensus Positive & Safe Restrictive Practice Manager
- Introduction to the new Consensus CEO
- Keeping safe at home (including fire safety); staying safe online, and keeping money safe, particularly online
“Within our roles we talk to lots of amazing people in Consensus, so we thought it would be a great idea if we built a bigger forum of individuals so we could all make a difference together.”
– Our Team of Quality Checkers
Meet our Quality Checkers
Our team of Quality Checkers all live within one of our services, so are experts in the issues faced by people with learning disabilities as they have a disability themselves. With their lived-experience, they are able to bring invaluable insight and ideas, whilst also developing new skills and friendships along the way. Ultimately, they can observe and highlight things that others may not pick up on and provide vital feedback to ensure every individual living within one of our services is safe and happy.
Our Consensus Voices Meeting in Northamptonshire
Approximately 50 people joined the 4th forum meeting including the people we support and their support teams, providing an opportunity to get together in person, share thoughts and ideas and have a great day. The Forum is open to everyone in Consensus and is organised and run by our team of Quality Checkers, supported by their PAs and support team.