Weed of the week, the benefits of positive risk taking and driving up quality workshops

26 April 2016

I visited 12 services last week and was particularly impressed by the efforts staff are clearly making to support individuals into voluntary and paid employment, which is a great example of promoting social inclusion. On the negative side, it is now weed season and unfortunately I saw a couple of services with a too many of them. It really doesn’t create a very positive impression of the service for visitors. I won’t name the services in question this time, but from next week I am going to name the service with the ‘Weed of the Week’! So please do encourage staff and people we support to make your gardens weed free.

As an outcome of last year’s Driving Up Quality Day, we have started facilitating regional workshops for managers and deputies on Positive Risk Taking. The first of these was held in Hove last week and was hugely successful. The event highlighted many fantastic examples of positive risk taking within the Hove and East Sussex services. Many people being supported have successfully reduced support in the community or are now accessing communities on their own. Examples included; supporting a person to go to Tai Chi classes on her own, going sledging at a local park in the snow, a person visiting graffiti sites in Dublin, Amsterdam and Barcelona as this is important to him, going to mainstream music festivals and people who use wheelchairs going on cruises, ice skating and sailing.

It was agreed at the workshop that positive risk taking cannot be reckless, but relies on good risk assessment and that we need to focus on what is important for a person, using person centred tools as the basis for risk taking decision making. One of our managers summed it up perfectly:

“Positive risk can take place when a strong team follows the same vision, works together and trusts each other. You create a safe setting for the people we support to develop, to grow and to take those positive risks. You have to know the person you are supporting and you need to trust the staff you are working with as much as the person needs to have trust in you and the team”.

At each workshop we will compile other examples of positive risk taking and develop a range of best practice examples to share and inspire and ultimately to support more people to develop enhanced independence and gain new experiences. My thanks to Michael Fullerton, CMG’s Clinical Director, for facilitating these great workshops.

On the subject of regional workshops, we have decided this year to use this same format for undertaking our annual Driving Up Quality self assessment. Rather than one company-wide day, we are going to hold regional workshops that will focus on 5 areas that we think will help us drive up the quality of support we provide in services. At each of the workshops, members of the Clinical Team, Learning and Development Team and Operational teams will provide information on each of the following areas:

Being out and about
Being healthy
Coping with emotions
Gaining employment

The workshops will be held in the following areas: Surrey (June 9th); South Coast (July 19th); Essex (September 20th); Hampshire (October 13th) and Wales (date tbc). Staff, people we support, family members and external professionals are all invited. If you would like to attend or have more information please contact sue.pym@cmg.co.uk.

2 thoughts on “Weed of the week, the benefits of positive risk taking and driving up quality workshops”

  1. Can you please explain to me, how staff are meant to keep up with the weeding, if the people we support do not want to go in the garden?

    1. Rachel/ I was very impressed with the efforts you made to pressure wash the back garden last time I saw it. Peter

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