Our Supported Individuals ‘Consensus Voices’ Meeting in Northamptonshire

June 22, 2022

A brilliant day was had by all at the 4th meeting of the Supported Individual’s Forum ‘Consensus Voices’ held in Northamptonshire.

Approximately 50 people joined the Forum 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.

The Forum runs every 3 months with the objective for the people we support to learn more about the initiatives and things they tell us are important to them and which impact on how they live their lives. Their voices, ideas and feedback are instrumental in shaping the Forums ensuring they are welcoming, inclusive and supportive.

The theme for this Forum was all about Staying safe; staying safe at home, staying safe on-line and keeping money safe.

To start the day Steve Vosper our Positive and Safe Restrictive Practice Manager did a great presentation about what restrictive behaviour means and why it is carried out. Steve explained that it is about keeping people safe and out of danger and making sure they have the best quality of life possible for them. Some examples he gave included; someone who may not be confident in going out on their own so an alarm would sound when their door was open; someone who may be on a strict diet so their food would be monitored; someone who needed a structured medication plan or someone who needed help in managing their money perhaps. He talked about the Quality of Life and Restrictions Check List where any restrictions for the individual and reasonings for those restrictions would be overseen and understood by the individual and their key worker and regularly reviewed.

Our new CEO, Paula Keys introduced herself to the group. When asked ‘what do you do’ by one supported individual, Paula explained how her role was all about ensuring individuals were kept safe, happy and that they could conduct their lives how they want. She also spoke about her love of playing the saxophone and Paul, an individual we support at Beech Court said he would love to hear her play sometime!

Jackie Preston and the Quality Checker Team went through a series of keeping safe exercises – which included scenarios like, not letting strangers who come to their homes in without asking for identity and ensuring they are who they say they are.

The day then moved on to the important issue of Fire Safety. An external speaker Peter Morris, who is the fire training officer for the NHS, spoke about all the things we need to remember to keep safe – like not leaving candles on, knowing where all the fire exits are, closing doors when there is a fire and knowing when to call 999.

We heard from Robert at Brighton Road, who is the Fire Safety Officer there on some key tips on fire safety. We also heard from Veronica at Frinton House too.

Louis, our Quality Checker then spoke about staying safe on-line which covers so many topics like gambling sites (and unknowingly spending money), IT scams, illegal downloads, online chatrooms, email scams and saving passwords safely. He then spoke about Social Media and all the various platforms available and all the many features on Smart Phones people have to learn about.

A video was shown about a young girl who shared an image of herself for it to be shared widely on the internet which caused her great distress, so knowing who to trust is key. Consensus are running lots of training programmes about Safety on-line to help keep the people we support keep safe and protected. Louis finished off with an amazing rap song he had written and produced himself which he performed perfectly!

John Leicester our Lead Quality Checker ran a session on how people can keep their money safe and explained what an Appointee and Deputy are (who can act on the individuals behalf to help them manage their money) and the importance of not sharing pin numbers, bank card details or passwords to anyone.

The day finished with a Catchphrase style quiz on everything that had been spoken about to remind people of all the aspects of keeping safe. This got very competitive!

A great day was had by all – with much to reflect upon. The next Forum will be in the Autumn.

Learn more about the Consensus Voices Forum here.