A look at Tuscany House

19th July 2019  Add comments

This week I’d like to share the great work being done at Tuscany House, and I’d like to welcome the new manager, Felicity Pemble, who has been in the social care industry for 18 years, and previously worked with the elderly with dementia.

I spoke to Felicity, who said “ I’m excited to join Tuscany House – it feels very homely and friendly. Everyone has made me feel very welcome. I’m here to help the individuals do what they want to do, support them to make their own decisions, and give them the help they need.”

There is a lot of active community participation at Tuscany House. There are weekly trips to a disco in Guildford where people love dancing and have the chance to engage and socialise with other locals. They service recently went to a Festival in Southampton called ‘GrowFest’ which everyone loved, as they were able to play instruments, participate in a range of interactive games, and get involved in silent discos.

It’s good to see real engagement in the community. Every week, Sean enjoys going to play pool in the nearby pub in Dorking, and has a drink with the locals. Sean has just finished 1 year of Life Skills studies at Guildford College, and is now volunteering once a week at the Children’s Trust charity shop, where he enjoys further social interaction.

The individuals at Tuscany like to get involved in many aspects of the service. Sean and Nick are both keen gardeners – they often go out into Tuscany’s back garden, and enjoy watering the plants, as well as weeding, and planting fresh news ones.

I’m impressed at the range of activities that take place at Tuscany House. Individuals are frequently taken on nature walks in the beautiful surroundings of the Surrey Hills, which according to support staff “they really love, and it keeps everyone fit too.” They often go swimming, bowling and enjoy frequent trips to the Air hop’ trampoline park.

Felicity told me “ Everyone here gets on so well together, and staff talk to the individuals with such respect and care. When they go out together, it’s not as ‘staff and clients’ – it’s as friends. We’re planning a summer BBQ for family, individuals and staff, which will be a great way for everyone to get to know eachother better.”

Thank you to everyone at Tuscany House – for making it such a welcoming home to all!

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The importance of oral health

12th July 2019 1 Comments

This week, I’m looking at the importance of maintaining dental health for the people we support. CMG and Regard recognise that oral healthcare is a vital part of overall general health, wellbeing and quality of life. Good oral health is essential for speech, communication, enjoyment of food, good nutrition, social integration, and can improve self-esteem and dignity.

People with a learning disability have the same equal rights to a high standard of oral healthcare as the general population. However, statistics show that unfortunately poor oral healthcare can result in a higher incidence of dental decay and gum disease amongst people with learning disabilities than that of the general population.

Good oral health is not just about having an attractive smile – a clean, comfortable mouth is essential for good physical health and wellbeing. A healthy smile can boost visual appearance and really boost self-esteem. But poor oral health can lead to gum disease, which is associated with pain and can cause difficulties in eating. Bacteria and infections in the mouth can also have a negative effect on general health and wellbeing, and can be linked to further health conditions such as chest infections and cardiovascular disease. The condition of someone’s mouth can reflect health conditions in other parts of the body.

It’s really important that staff educate the people we support about good oral health and hygiene, and signs of a change. For example, if there’s some pain in somebody’s mouth, or an oral cavity, it could be a sign of serious illness or disease.

It is very important for support workers to stay aware of any dental problems with the people we support – especially since some of them may not be non-verbal, and may not be able to tell us that they have a problem with their teeth or gums.

It’s also important that statf look out for any behaviour change, such as an individual not wanting to drink or eat, or touching or hitting their face. The people we support should have regular dental check ups – at least once a year.

Our Oral Health Guidance leaflet which gives more detailed advice, and information on how to access dental services.

We also have this great Oral Health Vlog developed by the Clinical/Quality Team with people supported by CMG. Please encourage all staff and teams to watch this – it’s only 15 mins and a good addition to a staff meeting.

Service managers can also check the:

Recent CQC report: which focuses on expectations of effective Oral Hygiene practices in care homes.

• Oral care and people with learning disabilities ‘Reasonable Adjustment Guide’ Is aimed at health professionals, paid social care staff and family members to support someone with learning disabilities to get good oral care. The report sign post to various resources, easy read and multimedia.


Our inspiring Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) team

5th July 2019 1 Comments

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.


My visit to Jubilee House

21st June 2019 1 Comments

This week I would like to highlight the excellent work taking place at Jubilee House, based in Twickenham.

It’s inspiring to see the dedication and passion shown by the staff team, and how they work with individuals to help them achieve their goals, in a way that is meaningful to them. Jubilee House, which opened in March 2018, is a supported living service which caters for six adults with Learning Disabilities and individual complex needs.

The service was recently refurbished to a high standard, and they are planning to get some nice summer furniture for the garden, which is now in full bloom. Staff are encouraging individuals to get involved in developing their gardening skills, and a range of herbs and flowers have already been planted.

I spoke to Louisa Terry, the service manager, who said “Everyone here gets on so well – the team are really compatible. It’s wonderful to see our individuals developing their skills, and seeing their achievements. They don’t just live in the house, they fully participate in the running of it – for example getting involved in Safety checks and fire evacuations.”

There is a steady stream of positive stories which come out of Jubilee House. Most recently, Melissa was supported to travel to Ipswich on the train to stay with friends for a weekend, which has been a long term goal of hers. This was the first time she had ever stayed with any friends independently, and was able to manage this using the independent living skills staff had taught her since living at Jubilee.

We also recently published a lovely, uplifting story about Oliver, who has taken huge steps in his social progress. You can read it here: Huge-steps-and-social-progress-oliver-from-jubilee-house

There is a lot going on at Jubilee House – staff informed me that they have a busy schedule of activities coming up this summer, including Mencap events such as steam train rides, nature walks, and bowling.  The service are also organising daytrips to the seaside for individuals, and a visit to Legoland.

I am so impressed by the staff’s energy – they are trained to a high standard, and show real enthusiasm at all times!


The Wheel of Engagement

14th June 2019 1 Comments

In this week’s blog I would like to share with you all a new campaign we launched back in March, the Wheel of Engagement.

At CMG and Regard, our absolute priority is enabling the people we support to have the best possible quality of life. A key to this is ensuring they are meaningfully engaged in activities and relationships, both at home and in the community.

I wanted to create a visual aid for staff that was eye catching and easy to identify specific areas of engagement and promote good practice and quality support in our services. It’s been received really well, considering it started off as a scribbled down wheel placed on my marketing manager’s desk.

Please see the Wheel of Engagement below and a brief description of each area of engagement:








Total communication 

Many people with learning disabilities cannot read or write. Every person is a unique individual, and a significant number of people with learning disabilities do find additional communications systems helpful.  This can include using pictures and symbols to help make reference.

We should ensure that when supporting people, we are using the right form of communication for them, and helping them have opportunities to make choices and have control over their lives.

Active community involvement   

We want the people we support to play an active part role in the community, and be valued members of it. There are a wide variety of ways in which people can do this, and it very much depends on people’s likes and preferences.  Examples can include participating in local allotments, joining community groups and being part of clubs.  For example, a number of people we support have successfully lost weight at local swimming clubs. It’s also very important to take into account people’s cultural background. We support people from a wide variety of different countries and cultures.

Intensive interaction  

Particularly for people with a more profound disability, we may need to find different and creative ways to stimulate and engage them.  Intensive interaction can be particularly useful in doing this.  It is a type of adult play, which requires staff to be trained to understand how to engage and interact with people.

Leisure and exercise 

We know that exercise is good for us both mentally and physically, it also provides a good opportunity to get to know other people in the community.  We would like to encourage the people we support to get involved in leisure and exercise activities of their choice. We support people in a huge range of areas including martial arts, cycling, swimming, going to the gym and rock climbing.

Positive behaviour support 

A number of the people we support can present ‘challenging behaviour’.  In order for them to have active and fulfilling lives we need to help them minimise the level of their challenging behaviour, which we see as a form of communication.  PBS is a method for identifying why people present challenging behaviours and helping them minimising it through ensuring their needs are met.

Person centred active support

It is extremely important that the people we support are actively involved in every aspect of everyday life, including cooking, shopping, cleaning, hoovering and gardening.  Irrespective of people’s disability, staff should support them to participate, even if it’s only for a short period of time, if there is a limited attention span, or if the individual requires handover hand support.  The staff should never do things for people, the staff should do things ‘with them’.

Voluntary work  

Voluntary work can provide really meaningful activity for an individual, and an opportunity to build relationships. It also means that people are playing an active role helping their community, rather than just being a recipient of their support.  A large number of people supported by CMG and Regard play an active role as a volunteer member of the community for example, working in charity shops.

Sensory stimulation

A number of people we support, including a proportion of people with a diagnoses of autism, benefit from and enjoy sensory stimulation. There are a whole range of different sensory activities people can use, including participating in sensory cooking, sensory stories, and using sensory equipment, for example mats.  For the people who benefit from sensory stimulation, this should be encouraged as part of their daily activities.

Paid employment

We actively support people, wherever possible, to get a paid job.  This could be for just a couple of hours a week, or anything up to fulltime work.  Paid employment brings huge self-esteem to the individual concerned, increases their financial freedom, and provides a great way of meeting new people.

Below are two examples of ‘Wheel Engagement’ Stories:

Andrew finds friends and happiness at church  (Perryn Road)  

Andrew from Perryn Road is being supported by staff to attend church every Sunday. He enjoys standing at the main entrance, where he hands out church service leaflets to the members attending. This gives him the opportunity to meet and socialise with his local neighbours and other fellow Christians with which he shares his faith.

Perryn Road staff said “After his time at church, Andrew feels very happy, and he then stays on afterwards for tea, and to chat with the Priest and other members.”

Andrew is well known at the church, especially by Father John who often visits him at Perryn Road, and offer prayers for him on special days such as his birthday or at Christmas time.

Olufunke, service manager, said “We’re delighted that Andrew has found such happiness and positive social connection in doing this!”


Alfred’s vote  (Restormel Terrace)

 Alfred from Restormel Terrace voted for the very first time, after staff explained the voting process to him via visual guidance.  Alfred made his decision after a period where staff watched the news with him, and were impartial with their own opinions, supporting him to make his own judgement.

Alfred was extremely proud of himself that he made his final decision without staff influence.  He decided who to vote for by weighing up pros and cons, and by using information he accessed through technology and TV.  Alfred also read leaflets that were posted through the door by local councillors to inform his choice.

The staff team said “We’re all so proud of Alfred’s confidence to vote!”

More great examples below:

  • At Oakview they support people with profound and multiple learning disabilities to participate in sensory cooking. They have also supported someone to go abseiling in their wheelchair.
  • I was very impressed to see a person we support at Stafford Lodge making his own milkshake with verbal prompting from staff which is a great example of person centred active support.
  • At Trafalgar one of the people we support has a section of the garden where he is growing his own fruit and vegetables.
  • A person we support in Alderwood is training to be a Proactscip instructor. Once she is qualified she will be the first person with a learning disability in the country to achieve this.
  • A person we support at Byfield Court is helping give donated food to homeless people.
  • A person we support at Fox House has set up their own small business.
  • A person we support at Two Wells has a paid job at Costa Coffee. She was very proud to receive an award recently at the Costa staff awards ceremony.



Penny Meadow’s outstanding work and facilities

6th June 2019 1 Comments

In this week’s blog I’d like to share the outstanding work and facilities provided by Penny Meadow – a day service based in Colchester, Essex.
I’m very impressed by the innovative and creative range of indoor and outdoor activities on offer. Ed Cook who runs the service, is extremely passionate about providing the very best for visitors and ensuring they have an incredible time, and is constantly coming up with creative new ideas for the service.

The land has a plot space for people to get involved in growing a range of vegetable produce, which they then sell to the local community at their stall, outside the house. They have rabbits, chickens and ducks- whose fresh eggs they also sell to locals.

Individuals have access to larger animals such as alpacas, rescue donkeys, and a flock of sheep which keep everyone entertained, and there is a garden art cabin available, where creative arts activities take place regularly.

Penny Meadow rent the local church hall for sports, martial arts, yoga, and have access to a lovely woodland, where they hold ‘Forest School’ – building campfires, doing outdoor cooking, and making dens. The people we support get involved in practical bike maintenance, where they help to repair used bikes, and then enjoy riding them out on the land.

‘Out-and-about’ Saturday groups are also on offer, with a choice of activity daytrips such as rowing, tobogganing and dig-a-land. Midweek, the service holds work experience opportunities for individuals, who volunteer for a local charity – and by doing so, increase their employability.

Penny Meadow is incredibly proud of its individuals, some of whom boast some great achievements: Daniel has represented Team GB at the Special Disability Olympics, in Powerlifting, and Zane has recently gained an orange belt in mixed martial Arts!

The service is extremely active, and coming up on 12th July, they are excited to be running their internal Awards – the theme being Alice in Wonderland. The hall will be decorated in fantasy style, and everyone will attend a Mad-hatters tea party, wearing crazy hats.

I’m impressed at how forward-thinking and innovative Penny Meadow are. They want to increase accessibility and invite, and share their incredible facilities with other CMG and Regard services. They hope to build outside classroom near the woodlands, so that other services can participate in Forest School, and get involved with all the fun outdoor activities.
I will definitely pop in again, to hone in on my forestry skills and of course attend the Mad Hatters tea party!


The People’s Awards 2019

31st May 2019 1 Comments

In this week’s blog I would like to celebrate the wonderful achievements of the people we support. On 16th May we held our annual People’s Awards, which are by far my favourite event of the whole year. Not only is it an opportunity to get suited and booted and enjoy an evening of great company, it is an evening to celebrate the achievements of the extraordinary people we support.

This year was extra special as it was the first event for the people we support combined as our new organisation (CMG and Regard). It was great to see so many familiar faces, but also to meet family members new and old. Another point I must add, it was the BIGGEST awards ceremony we have ever had, and everyone came dressed as the part.

The evening began with a drinks reception, followed on by a three course sit down meal and then of course what everyone was waiting for the ‘Awards Ceremony’. Every year without fail there is laughter, happiness and many tears. This year was no exception. There were 12 categories in total including best achievements in sports & leisure, education, performing arts, most inspirational person and group.

Below are some examples of the nominations:

Best Achievement in Sports and Leisure, Natalie, Bradwell House

“Natalie typically swims over 65 lengths in the swimming pool and has raised so far a total of over £6,800 since 2000. In preparation for her big swims, she has many training sessions to help build up her strength and stamina. It’s been touch and go as to whether she can swim this year as she recently had a seizure and fractured her hand. Yet Nat has sprit and depth in her character and is a credit to herself her parents and Bradwell House.”

Most Inspirational Individual, Fiifi, Upper Selsdon Road

“Fiifi has achieved so much over the last year, he has pushed his boundaries to develop his confidence and he is a real inspiration to others around him. Fiifi was asked to do a speech and presentation at the (Un) Ordinary conference, where he spoke about the relationship he had with his Mother who sadly passed away.  He shared what bereavement has meant for him and how he copes with this on a day to day basis. This was a really brave thing to address particularly in front of an audience.”

Best Individual Achievement, Todd, Reddown Road

Todd has autism and is non-verbal, he struggles with change of routine and with certain activities. Since Todd has been at Reddown we have set him goals each week/month. He can now use public transport, allows his finger and toe nails to be cut which was a very challenging task previously. He prepares his own breakfast, wash up, use the dishwasher, tidy his room, do gardening and much more. He has even started cycling, using hand pedals.

Best Achievement in Paid Employment, Stacey, Town Farm workshop

“Stacey checks on the village playground for any health and safety issues. She completes a checklist and submits it to the local Parish Council. Previously Stacey was supported to carry out her checks, now she does them independently. Stacey has grown in confidence and makes a positive contribution to the local community. She feels really proud of her achievements and enjoys spending her well earned money.”

This event is very special to everyone, one mother flew all the way from Nigeria to see her daughter collect her award. Another powerful moment was when one of the gentlemen we support collected his award and made a speech: “We are not service users, we are not feeders, we are not wheelchairs and we are not defined by our disability, WE ARE PEOPLE!”

Sometimes it’s possible to only notice the great achievements of more able bodied people, these awards celebrate everyone and all achievements. Some achievements may seem small, but they are huge for others. Samir and Frankie have profound and multiple learning disabilities, but this doesn’t stop them. They are part of a self-advocacy group, Campaign 4 Change (C4C) who campaign about things that are important to them and people alike. They have been campaigning to increase the number of changing places in public areas. They were nominated by a fellow C4C group member and by someone that is supported by CMG and Regard, Mary Woodall. She said:

“I would like to nominate Frankie and Samir. Considering they have PMLD, they have done an amazing job, performing and representing people at the #mindyourlanguage campaign. They’ve been great at representing other people with PLMD in the C4C meetings.  They are also doing a great job with their own campaign, to get more changing places in public areas. They are amazing happy people, who are always smiling and laughing. They are warm hearted and have amazing talent.”

I really can’t tell you how proud I am of all these amazing people, congratulations to you all!

Please see below for some of my favourite pictures from the night. You can also head over to our Facebook page to see more photos from the night: https://www.facebook.com/CareManagementGroup/?ref=bookmarks











Panorama documentary

24th May 2019 1 Comments

I was shocked and appalled when I watched the recent Panorama documentary about the abuse of people with learning disabilities in a hospital. It showed what can happen in a service for vulnerable people, when a cruel rather than a kind and caring culture develops. I can only imagine how distressing it must be for a parent or relative of a loved one who has a learning disability. You may be wondering “is my next of kin safe?”

I wanted to reassure you that we are constantly vigilant, because we know that there is always a risk that a culture of abuse can develop in a service. We carry out very regular audits of quality in our services, and people are frequently visiting them. I visited 10 services in East Sussex yesterday and am in services most days of the week, as are other members of our senior management team. We train our staff on the importance of reporting any concerns about the care provided to people we support. We also have an independent whistleblowing line that staff can contact anonymously –and those referrals come straight to me.

I don’t believe this issue is happening anywhere in CMG and Regard, and I know that the vast majority of our staff are caring people, who have the best interests of the people they support at heart.

However, these cultures can develop, and we must be vigilant. I would encourage you to let us know if you have any concerns when you visit your loved ones. We take complaints very seriously and investigate them quickly and thoroughly. We have a Relative Liaison Officer, Helen Woods, whose job is to ensure that there is really good communication with families, that you are listened to, and any concerns are addressed. Her e-mail address is helen.woods@cmg.co.uk.

Sometimes it’s not as obvious as what was shown in the documentary, but, for example, staff can start treating people with challenging behaviour as “naughty” and introduce punishments that might be applied with an unruly child. Some abuse is obvious and some isn’t. The best guide is our conscience. If someone sees something that makes them feel uncomfortable, they must act on that feeling. Staff and families must report anything that worries them. Staff should speak to, or e-mail someone senior, and can choose to remain anonymous if they like. They can also report any concerns to our independent whistleblowing line (08000 915 0804). It is the responsibility of all of us to keep the people we support safe, and we will ensure that anyone who whistleblows and does the right thing is protected.

In CMG and Regard the people we support come first, we want them to be treated with dignity and respect at all times and to achieve and fulfil their potential.

It is time for the Government to act. Not enough has been done in the eight years since Winterbourne View. Hospitals like the one we saw in the documentary should be closed. I spent a large part of my career closing long stay hospitals, and I know it can be done. Over a 20 year period we moved around 50,000 people out of hospitals into the community; I can’t believe it’s impossible to achieve that for 2,000 people. There will need to be some hospital beds for the most complex people, in my estimation around 500 in England. The rest should close.

The Government should identify which hospitals will remain open, and should put in place the necessary programme to ensure that they are state of the art centres demonstrating best practice. All the other hospitals should close; each hospital should have a closure plan with a timescale and a named person responsible who is personally accountable to the Department of Health and Social Care. 20 years ago I was personally accountable for closing a particularly challenging hospital and I went up to the Department of Health every 2 months to report on progress.

There is a lack of accountability in the current system with too much talking, and not enough action. I also have to question CQC who rated that hospital as “good” on all 5 areas. When the CQC rating system was introduced, I liked it. More recently I’ve become concerned that it focuses too much on paperwork and not enough on the culture of the service and the outcomes achieved with the people being supported. You can have a pretty institutional service where people supported have dull lives, but the paperwork is in place, and you can get a “good”. On the other hand, you can have a vibrant service where the people supported live full and active lives, staff are highly motivated and person centred, but there is a minor issue with paperwork and you can get a “requires improvement”.
I think there needs to be much more focus on the culture of services, how staff interact with people being supported and outcomes rather than ticking boxes.


Sarah Ghent and her Outstanding’s

20th May 2019  Add comments

This week’s blog I would like to share great practice from Sarah Ghent and her Outstanding’s. Sarah is a Regional Manager in the Dorset and Hampshire area, 3 out of 5 of her services have been rated by CQC as Outstanding. Firstly I would like to congratulate Sarah on this amazing achievement and secondly, I would like to share her secret with you all.

I recently caught up with Sarah and she told me how previously when every CQC inspectors arrived, staff would scarper, which I’m sure many managers have had the same experience. It is natural to feel apprehensive when an official inspector turns up unannounced, however instead of running for the hills we should be shouting about all the wonderful things we do to improve the lives of others and ensure quality.

Sarah’s style isn’t making her staff recite the outcomes, but changing the perspective of her staff by asking them to share their day to day experiences at work. Sarah draws in on each experience the staff have with the people they support. For example when giving medication she asks staff how they administrate, the time and how it is recorded. Or she’ll ask staff how they communicate and include families with the support of their loved ones. The staff generally don’t realise they cover all 5 outcomes (Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive, Well led) in their daily routines.

Sarah holds sessions with staff using flip boards with an outcome on each. Staff have to write down examples of the different support they give and daily tasks and put them into the right area. These sessions equip staff with the right tools to feel confident when speaking to inspectors. This process takes away the fear and gives them the opportunity to share their fantastic work.

Another addition Sarah made, is creating journeys/story boards for each person they support. All achievements not matter big or small are logged with pictures. This is a great resource to share with inspectors, not only does it act like a prompt for staff, if gives the inspector a clear vision of what life is like for the people supported.  These stories/journeys are also shared with families.

On one occasion when a CQC inspector arrived at one of the services, Carla the home manager had already planned to support someone on an overnight stay in Derby. She felt so confident her staff could cope with the inspection, she didn’t return to be present. She was right the service gained ‘Outstanding’ in 3 areas.

I’m really impressed with Sarah’s methods and feel we can all learn something from the way she empowers and supports her staff.

Sarah Ghent, Regional Manager

“I love what I do, it’s all about making a difference to people’s lives. I am lucky I have such a great group of managers who all support each other. We all work together, share information and celebrate our joint successes. I believe upskilling staff and including them on decision making is the key.”






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Visual Aids at Ty-Nant

11th April 2019  Add comments

In this week’s blog I would like to share examples of good practice at Ty-Nant in Wales, specifically the work they do around autism.

Ty-Nant is comprised of 7 self-contained flats, and is specifically designed to support people with autism spectrum disorders. Each person receives 1-1 support in their individual flats. Ty-Nant staff use the TEACCH approach, which is specifically created for the needs of autistic people. People with autism often find it difficult to process change and moving from one task to another. Ty-Nant staff use a range of different visual aids to organise the environment and daily tasks of each individual, making it easier for them to complete their daily routines.

Active support is practiced at all levels, as the needs of the people living at Ty-Nant are varied. B doesn’t like to be prompted to do a certain activity or a daily task, however if she is left to her own accord she will just sit in her room for hours and not progress through the day. The staff introduced two clocks to her room, one which is set correctly and another which you have to change the time manually. She has an activity/daily tasks schedule on the wall with timings. Once a task/activity is completed the staff change the time on the manual clock to the time of the next task. When the real time clock reaches the same time on the manual clock, B checks her schedule to see which task needs to be completed and completes the task independently.

When B goes shopping, she takes her visual shopping list with her. This means she can do her shopping independently, with very few prompts from staff. These visual aids are also really useful in terms of communication especially in public spaces, as B is partially deaf and it can sometimes be difficult for her to hear what staff are saying.

IP is relativity new person to Ty-Nant, when he first moved in he would throw large quantities of food away from his fridge/freezer. This lead to him being supported to do daily shops which he wasn’t keen on. The team devised with IP’s input, a visual meal planner & shopping list. These included all the meals IP would like to eat that week, and what ingredients needed. This has increased IP’s control and independence, but also gives him clear guidance on what he will be eating and when. Not only has the food wastage dramatically decreased, IP is now more socially included. He now often visits other shops and cafes whilst on his way to do his weekly shop. A simple yet important shopping list has opened up many more opportunities for him.

One very complex gentleman was supported to go on holiday to Cornwall last year. The holiday went perfectly, they visited the beach, museums and went for long walks. He even ate out restaurants with his support staff, which is completely unheard of for this individual. Sara (Home Manager) said this was due to pre planning and assessing all possible risks beforehand. She also said it’s due to her amazing staff team.

Sara Robinson, Home Manager – Ty-Nant

“I’ve been working at Ty-Nant for the last 12 years, I started as a support worker and then was promoted to lead support worker and now I have been the manager for the last 5 years. My staff team are what make Ty-Nant what it is, they are brilliant communicators and are all there for each other. Each member of staff are passionate about improving the lives of the people they support, helping them reach their potential and achieve their individual goals.”












Follow the link to download a copy of our new easy read ‘Transgender’ publication.  http://cmg.co.uk/our-expertise/transgender-easy-read-guide/







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