Affinity Trust is rolling out Person Centred Active Support, enabling people with learning disabilities to engage more in their daily lives.
The project kicked off in the summer of 2017, with the creation of eight pilots across England and Scotland. This led to plans for a fully co-ordinated rollout nationally from October 2018.
Victoria Neish, Director of Operations and Quality, says: “We want to fully embed Active Support so the positive impact is sustained. So we’re carefully planning the rollout, ensuring lessons are learned as we progress.”
So far, Active Support has been introduced to 26 of Affinity Trust’s operational teams, supporting 130 people between them.
With the first phase completed, the application process for the second phase is starting this spring. All participants attend formal training with the Tizard Centre. A number of training programmes will run, for practice leaders and observers as well as trainers.
Victoria says: “This time our Divisional Directors will be trained as observers. This will give them the information they need to fully support and embed the approach successfully. Having buy-in from all levels is important, and we are very lucky that everyone at Affinity Trust can see the benefits of Active Support.”
Active Support is about seeing all daily tasks and interactions as an opportunity to increase choice and control. In doing this, the person supported is engaged in a meaningful way, hopefully maintaining skills or learning new ones.
The scheme’s success is measured formally and informally. Formal measures of success include the quality of person-centred plans, internal audits, and regular observations where teams are scored against five engagement measures.
Informally, staff look at the difference that Active Support is making by meeting regularly to share success stories. David, a Team Leader in Sheffield, says: “The people we support are involved and they take pride in this.”
Victoria adds: “Through the pilot scheme and the initial roll out, our staff have told us how much they enjoy Active Support too. Our staff have loved watching the people they support grow in confidence and skill, and they get a lot of job satisfaction from that as well.”