I visited 11 services last week and was particularly impressed by the positive and welcoming attitude of the staff in the New Forest. They only joined CMG just over a year ago, but already feel very much part of the family. I was down there recording the latest video blog for staff. We involved people we support and staff in the blog, including some deaf people with disabilities who live in supported living services in the New Forest. (There is a link to the video blog below if you would like to view it). I am always extremely impressed by the ability of the staff who are trained in British Sign Language and who communicate with the people we support with huge competence. I am always left feeling inadequate as I struggle to remember the few signs that I know. I was also impressed when I went to visit Dimmock House in the New Forest to find that one of the people we support who lives there is an active volunteer at a local food bank. As you know, we continue to promote social inclusion in CMG and both paid and voluntary employment are particularly good opportunities for getting people to be active and contributing members of their community.
Whilst I was out visiting services, I looked at the daily diary of a particular young man that we support where I have some concerns as to whether he participates in a broad enough range of activities. He is profoundly disabled and approaches like intensive interaction would work well for him. What was very noticeable was that some staff were doing fantastic sensory activities with him and others appeared to be doing less creative things. This could be down to what was recorded in the diary, but reminded me of the importance of consistency which is key in the work that we do.
I jointly facilitated a workshop on the driving up quality code last week with Sarah Maguire from Choice Support. It was at the Care Management Matters conference and Sarah and I have also co-authored a series of 3 articles about the code in that magazine. The purpose of the workshop was to let people know about the driving up quality code and also to highlight additional benefits. For example, if you either refer to the self assessment process that the organisation carries out (CMG does this every year) or you carry out a self assessment in your own individual service, it can significantly increase the chances of getting an outstanding rating from the CQC for ‘well led’.
We are planning to open some more supported living services this year, working with housing partners who provide the accommodation. We will need more good registered managers in order to run those services. We have set up a new trainee manager scheme which involves recruiting deputy managers who have the potential to become registered managers with the right support and development. We have recruited 3 people so far and have designed a development programme for them. Something I think we do well in CMG is promote talented people. I can think of lots of really good registered managers who started as support workers with us a few years ago. Seven out of 10 of our regional directors in England and all 3 of our regional managers in Wales have been promoted internally.
Peter’s video blog for staff can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/156878283.