Community-based Success Story
Lynda moved into Fieldbrook in January 2017, having previously lived in a long stay hospital where she had been some 22 years, living with a learning disability, a personality disorder and other complex needs.
Bolton Council had asked Consensus to assess Lynda for her suitability for Fieldbrook, having noted the successful outcomes in the region being achieved by people supported by Consensus at both Vale House and Kingarth.
When it was confirmed that Lynda would be moving into Fieldbrook the support team worked very closely with the hospital team to provide a smooth transition. Staff at the hospital supporting Lynda had decided that they would not leave their employment with the hospital to transfer with Lynda, so Consensus recruited colleagues that shared their values and were pre-disposed to support Lynda most effectively, being confident and experienced support workers.
Having spent half her life, thus far, within the hospital setting the team knew the transition would need to be slow and steady. They began by visiting Lynda and some covered shifts at the hospital supporting her so that relationships and trust could be built prior to her visiting her new home.
As part of her transition the team were able to organise a special Christmas visit for lunch with her brother who is based at another Consensus service locally. It was the first time that they had been able to enjoy lunch together in over 20 years and was an emotional milestone for both of them and their support teams.
Having now moved into Fieldbrook, Lynda is enjoying life whilst being supported by two members of the team each day and just one when she accesses the community. She is supported to visit local markets, an activity which is a firm favourite and importantly the relationship with her brother is growing with them visiting each other now once a week using local transport. They are planning a get together for his birthday and the teams from both services will be supporting them to make sure they have a wonderful time.
Having developed Lynda’s support plan around her needs, likes, dislikes, interests and goals the team are focused on supporting her to explore plenty of opportunities. Lynda has expressed a desire to go on holiday to Blackpool and so the team are working with Lynda to enhance her budgeting skills which will help her save for the trip. They have identified that Lynda is keen to consider voluntary work and will be searching with her for an opportunity locally that provides a safe and positive environment. This will also help her save funds for other trips and activities.
The team at Fieldbrook regularly visit other local services and participate in activities in the local community and this has given Lynda the opportunity to meet other individuals with similar interests and develop new friendships. This is giving her confidence around others and the team are encouraging Lynda to join in with a variety of activities including daily living tasks such as cooking, and cleaning and she is enjoying the pamper sessions being provided by one of the team, which has led to her gaining a new confidence in her improved appearance.
Lynda is getting involved in arts and crafts sessions and has with support created a dreams and goals board which helps her share what she would like to achieve, do more of and less of.
She has some very clear long term goals which will support her stop self-harming and having worked with the in-house positive behaviour support team they have identified that the first stage will be to establish a set routine in the evening with Lynda, giving her consistency and security in the support provide and on hand throughout the night.
Lynda would also like to have a pet, something she has never been able to consider previously. She has her sights set on caring for a guinea pig and has already given it a name. The team are providing guidance around the costs and responsibilities of owning a pet and will introduce Lynda to some of the team’s pets over a period of time helping her to make her own choices about what she would like to care for.
In order to support Lynda the team have undergone some additional training so they can support her with confidence in the most appropriate manner and this includes education around self-harming, positive behaviour practices and medical support. Prior to Lynda arriving they had completed risk assessments and run group sessions for the team informing them about Lynda’s history, most importantly in regards to her health and wellbeing.
Having ensured the team were well prepared and trained to support Lynda, they have enjoyed being present through several positive experiences and milestones which Lynda has achieved. They have also been very proud to receive positive feedback from social care professionals on Lynda’s progress.