This week I’d like to share how impressed I am by our Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) team. They support some of the most challenging people in the country, and are responsible for significantly changing peoples’ lives for the better.
The core of Positive Behaviour Support is understanding why individuals exhibit challenging behaviour, and addressing the issues to prevent further occurrences of challenging behaviour. Positive Behaviour Support aims, through positive techniques, to teach individuals new or enhanced skills, and enable them to achieve what they want to achieve. I’m proud to say that our team excel at this! Kirstie Davies, PBS Practitioner, recently won the PBS Award at the Welsh National LD & Autism Awards, and Nola O’Connor, also a PBS Practitioner, has been nominated for this week’s LD&A Awards in England.
Michael Fullerton, Clinical Director of CMG and Regard, is a Registered Learning Disability Nurse and oversees the PBS team with Dan Morrison (PBS Team Manager), who give clinical and behavioural support to managers and staff , and to people supported by CMG and Regard. The PBS team is made up of PBS Practitioners, Mental Health and Forensic Specialists who work with service teams to create and implement Positive Behaviour Support Plans, and other Plans as relevant. They get involved in role modelling practice, establishing periodic service reviews, and facilitate bespoke training for teams, ensuring a personalised approach to support.
The PBS team help teach staff and individuals to enhance their personal skills and abilities, including a focus on communication skills, so that individuals learn how to express their feelings to staff. This is done through alternative and augmentative communication tools to maximise understanding.
The PBS team also teach skill development, which includes learning everyday tasks such as accessing food and making lunch for yourself, and organisational skills such as planning your day and week ahead. Individuals are also taught coping strategies on how to deal with everyday stress and emotions.
Uniquely, the PBS Team have access to other specialisms within the internal Clinical Team, to offer additional assessment and support to people via our Healthcare Facilitator or Specialist Nurse Practitioner. This allows for a more holistic approach to our PBS support, and lots of joint working.
One of many good examples of our PBS work, is the wonderful progress of Julie (not her real name), who lives in Wales. Staff were initially having difficulties supporting Julie, as she was refusing most staff support, and becoming extremely anxious if staff attempted to interact with her, to the point where she was spending most of her time alone and disengaged. The PBS team implemented a desensitization plan, and now Julie is gradually accepting more staff interaction, sensory activities, and is even starting to use a range of different language when talking to staff. Julie was only leaving her cottage to go on a routine walk on certain days a week, but recently went outside and spoke with one of her neighbours – which was a huge achievement for her! These small changes have already had a massive impact on Julie’s quality of life. The plan is to continue with the desensitization plan to support Julie to access the community, and attend a medical appointment.
Congratulations to the PBS team for this great progress!
I’m so inspired by Michael and the PBS team, who go out of their way to ensure that CMG and Regard are sector leaders in providing support that is focused on people leading meaningful and fulfilling lives, in the best possible physical and mental health.