I would like to focus this week’s blog on services for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). Quite rightly in the learning disability sector there is a strong focus on supporting people who present challenging behaviour and the importance of positive behaviour support. However I am concerned that very little attention is given to the needs of people with PMLD and very little is talked about regarding best practice in this area.
We support a large number of people with PMLD in CMG and generally do it very well. Two people who are critical to our expertise in this area are Katie Reid from our Clinical Team and Erren Wheatland from our Learning and Development Team. They both have huge expertise in supporting people with very complex health as well as learning disabilities. I popped into the training session they were running this week on sensory stories. There was a very positive atmosphere amongst the staff and it was a fun and very informative session. Sensory stories are a really good way of engaging people with the most profound disabilities.
I carried out a social inclusion audit at Chandon in Ashtead this week, which is a supported living service, supporting 4 people with profound disabilities. The audit scored very highly and the people living there had a really good quality of life with lots going on and a very person centred ethos. I was particularly impressed that the manager, Kitty McAvoy, is looking to help one of the people who lives there to find employment. Kitty has been with CMG for 5 years and has worked her way up from a Support Worker. I am hugely impressed with her dedication to the people that she supports. I have known the individuals at Chandon for many years as they used to live at the Ethel Brady Close NHS campus which I was responsible for managing back in my NHS days. The change in quality of life for those individuals since they moved to Chandon has been huge.
I was asked to attend a manager’s meeting this week because the managers in a particular region wanted to raise a concern that I hadn’t carried out social inclusion audits in their area or celebrated the good work that they do. Since then I have carried out 2 audits in that region and will be carrying out more. If any CMG manager feels that they have an example of best practise in social inclusion that they would like to celebrate, please let me know and I will make sure that I visit in the near future.