Visiting services, NHS England’s provider forum and a new conference for families of disabled children

15 September 2015   Add comments

I visited ten services this week and was really impressed at our Walsingham home in Hove at the warm, friendly, inclusive and person centred atmosphere at a birthday party for one of the people we support. The staff had clearly gone to a lot of trouble to organise it and it reminded me of the importance of recruiting staff with the right values who really care about the people they support as well as understanding and agreeing with our focus on promoting independence.

As you know, ‘attention to detail’ is an important phrase for us at CMG and I was a bit concerned to visit one of our services and see a pictorial rota not being used properly and out of date. It is great that we take an active role promoting total communication ensuring that we are enabling the people we support to communicate with us in the way that works best for them, including the use of pictures. However, those systems, won’t work unless they are always kept up to date.

I would like to congratulate the staff team of our Craignish service in Croydon who received an extremely positive CQC report where each of the five areas looked at by CQC were rated ‘good’ and the service was rated ‘good’ overall.

A group of representatives of the provider sector from the Housing and Support Alliance, VODG, ARC, Care England and ACEVO met last week, to look at what we can do to help with the implementation of the transforming care programme. This is the NHS England programme for helping people move from assessment and treatment units into the community. The provider sector has a huge amount of expertise in supporting people who can be very complex and challenging to live successful lives in ordinary settings in the community and I am always unsure our expertise and views are fully taken into account in planning the move into the community of possibly 2,000 people. We put forward some really constructive ideas and a paper will be prepared for consideration at the NHS England provider forum meeting in early October. I really hope NHS England and other statutory bodies take account of our suggestions and really engage with providers so that we can help make the changes needed.

Over the next couple of months, I am going to be mentioning the ‘Finding Your Way’ conference (a jointly hosted conference by CMG and Bringing Us Together) which will be held on the 30th January 2016 in Surrey and is for any families of disabled children. Today I am briefly going to talk about the workshop on housing and support options which will be included on the conference agenda. This session is about helping families get the information they need to make the right choices when they are looking for accommodation with support for their loved ones. It can be a very confusing picture with residential care and supported living and a variety of different funding mechanisms including Local Authority, NHS, housing benefit and direct payments. The purpose of the workshop will be to explain the similarities and differences between residential care and supported living, how the money works and also how families can go about getting the right information to make the right choices. If you would like more information or tickets for this event, please contact Debs or Katie: or

Conference invite as jpeg

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