How the views of individuals supported at Huntley are shaping every aspect of the service
When it comes to providing high quality, person-centred support and creating a positive, inclusive environment, the team at Huntley, a residential service for individuals with learning disabilities and other complex needs, near Worthing in West Sussex, know how important it is that the views of the individuals they support are used to shape the service and the delivery of their care.
As a result of this, the team have been recognised by the Care Quality Commission, families and health professionals as being exceptionally responsive to people’s individual needs and for going above and beyond to ensure people’s needs, wishes and aspirations are at the forefront of everything they do. The service has also been praised for its strong person-centred values, with people at the centre of their care planning and fully involved in the process.
Individuals supported at Huntley are encouraged to make day to day choices and the team adapt their approach to enable this, similarly, activities are recognised as an integral part of people’s lives and led by people’s choices. This proactive and inclusive approach not only support people’s wellbeing but also allows them to achieve goals, develop their confidence and has a very positive impact on their overall quality of life.
A recent refurbishment of the service, which aimed to ensure that it was able to continue to meet the needs of the existing individuals, with the installation of a new fitted kitchen, hydraulic dining table and a lift between floors, also included the development of an additional flat-let which created an opportunity for another individual to move into the service.
With inclusion a central focus at Huntley, the natural next step for the team was to involve supported individuals by asking them to share their views on what attributes they would like a new friend moving into the service to have.
The team at Huntley are well-established with many having worked at the service for a number of years, so they have an in-depth knowledge of how each individual likes to communicate, as well as their likes and interests, and always support each person to share their thoughts in the way that they enjoy and that is the most comfortable for them.
During the activity, the team supported each individual to express their views in their own way. One individual who loves balloons was supported to share the attributes he would like by writing them on to balloons and creating a balloon display. Another individual who likes hands and feet printing, incorporated this into their design and was supported to write the attributes they would like on to their artwork; another individual used jigsaw puzzles to convey their views.
Feedback from the individuals supported at Huntley included, “Someone to keep me entertained with a slap stick humour,” “Someone friendly, adventurous and kind who likes watching game shows” and “Someone who likes stories, music, interaction and theatre.”
Kristina Miniotiene, Operations Manager for Huntley, said: “For the supported individuals here at Huntley being asked to share their views on the attributes they would like a new person to have felt very natural as they are always consulted about everything. They really enjoyed the activity and it was a great way to build up excitement and positivity around a new person moving into their home.”
“The service is very sociable and the supported individuals all like to get together and have fun, with activities like movie night and going to the park very popular here. It was clear from their feedback that they would like someone who is similarly sociable and enjoys interacting with others.”
“Their feedback will influence how we approach the referrals process and when we find an individual who is compatible with those living at Huntley already, it will be great to be able to share with them how excited the individuals are about having a new friend and how much they are looking forward to welcoming them to Huntley,” adds Kristina.