I visited 14 services last week and was particularly impressed with the best practice I saw at 283 Dyke Road in Brighton. As well as seeing the young people being supported to do as much for themselves as possible, like carrying their own wash baskets and loading their own washing in the machine, it was great to see one of the people we support having a fantastic healthy breakfast of Weetabix and lots of dried fruit.
Two of the things we talk about a lot in CMG are person centred active support (always doing things with people not for them) and healthy lifestyles so it is really rewarding to see both of those happening in practise. On a less positive note, I am getting frustrated with the amount of paperwork I see lying around in our services. I appreciate that things like daily diaries need to be updated, but we really need to keep all paperwork out of site when it is not being filled in, otherwise communal areas start to look like offices not peoples’ homes. I would appreciate everybody’s help in trying to make sure this happens.
One of the things that make CMG special and for which we get a lot of positive feedback about is our programme of events throughout the year. We are now starting to plan those with our Service User Award Ceremony next on the list. Our Service User MP’s help us choose the winners. If you would like to nominate someone please email firstname.lastname@example.org (or tel: 01372 364000) for a nomination form before 26th February.
A more recent edition to our events programme is our annual Driving Up Quality Self Assessment Day. You will hopefully know that CMG was one of the first providers in the country to sign up to the Driving Up Quality Code and we took a lead in designing the Code and self assessment tool that goes with it. It followed on from the awful abuse at Winterbourne View and providers who sign up to the Code make a commitment to put service users at the heart of what they do and to be open and transparent. The two days that we have held have been very successful with a good turnout from staff, people we support, families and some external stakeholders like commissioners and advocates. At the days, we have used accessible tools and activities to make sure people we support can participate meaningfully and we have had useful feedback both on what we do well and what we can do better. We have put action plans in place to address the areas for improvement and at the following year report back on progress from the previous year. Our next Driving Up Quality Day is on Thursday 9th June and we would very much like your ideas about the best way to run it. I think it is important that we keep the event fresh and interesting. The Driving Up Quality Alliance, which oversees the Code, has developed a new self assessment tool specifically around positive behaviour support. This is a way of working that is very effective in supporting people with challenging behaviour and an approach we use a lot in CMG. We would probably want part of the day to look at aspects of that self assessment tool but also want people to have a chance for people to express their views more generally about CMG. If you do have any suggestions, or would like to attend the day, please either let me know or contact Sue Pym.