Glenelg Support - Driving Up Quality Code


Glenelg Support Limited signed up to the Driving Up Quality Code on 14 November 2013. We recognised that as an organisation, we were already fully committed to the principles within the 5 key areas and were pleased that we were able to commit to the code in order to celebrate our achievements to date, but more importantly, establish what we could do as a provider to further improve our service to the people we support.

We announced our intentions to commit to the Driving Up Quality Code and work on the 5 areas to our supported individuals, staff and families via our forums which are held twice a year. There is still a lot of work to do and we are fully committed to achieving our aims.

Our work to date and actions for going forward are set out within this report.

Click on the headings below for further information.

Support is focused on the person

Good things:

We found that we were very proud of our achievements with the people we support. The positive outcomes they have achieved are a direct result of support being focussed on them. Our whole ethos is about person centred support and we have many examples of this throughout the organisation; some examples being:

  • Every person has an individual support plan which identifies the important things in each individual's pfe - the plans are devised with the person themselves, their famipes and their support teams and reviewed regularly as pving, breathing documents.
  • We have 26 services to date which have been designed from the very start with the people we support - we have supported people to choose their own homes, in the right area for them, choose their own staff teams, choose the people they pve with and choose how their day to day pves are managed.
  • Our culture is such that the people we support feel they are part of one big family - we have seen genuine friendships flourish across our services
  • People we support are given opportunities to direct their own support and their own pves in a number of ways - talking to their support staff daily, monthly meetings, forums twice a year and full involvement in review of their own support.
  • Famipes meet twice a year for our family forum where we ask what they think we do well and where we could improve - we psten, feedback and take action based on the views of our families
  • We have had really positive feedback in relation to our training - lots of staff training is now done in house which means we can make it bespoke to both the people we support and Glenelg - the people who faciptate training have a really good understanding of the needs of the people we support, so our training is focussed on the person.
  • We were told that we "always respect the dignity" of the people we support and "nothing appears to be too much trouble"
  • We have been told that when things go wrong, people feel we respond quickly to identify and solve issues
  • We now have our own Positive Behaviour Support Co-ordinator who we approach when we have people who may benefit from having a positive behaviour support plan. She also works closely with the National Autistic Society as we are currently going through the accreditation process to become an accredited provider of specialist support foe people with a diagnosis of autism.
Things we could do better
  • We review our support plans every 3 months but would like to see more involvement from families and care managers - this is a shared responsibility so we need to make more families aware (with agreement of our supported individuals) of how often and when we are going to review support.
  • Sometimes, when things go wrong with staff, we have a dilemma between ensuring people are supported and getting the right staff at short notice - we try to overcome this issue by identifying good bank staff, usually through our relationships with student nurses who come on placement, people who work in our other services or people who want to work flexibly. For this reason, in many of our services we very rarely use agency staff. We are also looking at recruiting a crisis team of support workers who will get to know people we support and then be available to work at short notice when issues/emergencies arise.
  • Sometimes, when we have a number of vacancies across our services, we interview people and feel they might thrive in a particular service - this is not always the right way, so we try to overcome this by offering provisional job offers until the staff member has met the person being supported and their family.
  • Sometimes, providing support can cause dilemmas in shared tenancies where staff support is shared - we try to overcome this by making sure we get the right people to live together in the first place so they can enjoy shared activities while also working with families to make sure people get time alone as well.
  • People we support would like to be involved in training - either facilitating this or being a course delegate - we welcome this and will work hard to involve people who want this.
  • We would like to upskill staff so that we can do more and more things electronically - we recognise the need to have good, accurate records but also that they can take time to complete - if we can continue to streamline the evidence we provide, this will allow more support time dedicated to people we support.
  • We need to do more work regarding mental capacity and Deprivation of Liberty to ensure that we work in partnership with people we support, their families and professionals. We are currently rolling out a restriction of liberties questionnaire in order to assess where we are up to and what actions need to be taken as a result.

The person is supported to have an ordinary and meaningful life

Good things:
  • The people we support live in their homes in local communities - we choose accommodation that is of a very high standard, through Registered Social Landlords who specialise in supported accommodation. Every individual has their own tenancy agreement, giving them rights but also placing responsibilities on them for maintaining their tenancy.
  • We support people to have the right adaptations to their properties - this could mean wet rooms, ramps or hoists for people with physical needs, or environmental changes such as height adjusted light switches, low baths or replacing hazardous things with safer options, such as fire places or kitchen equipment.
  • We strive to ensure people have things in their lives that mean something to them - this could be in terms of work (paid or voluntary), college, social and leisure activities.
  • We encourage people to spend quality time with their family - families of people we support are extremely important to us, because they are important to the people we support.
  • We encourage and support people to develop and maintain friendships - lots of people we support have become good friends and this has led to holidays together, spending time in each other's homes on social evenings or "Come Dine with Me", going out together - bowling, discos, sensory rooms, swimming etc.
  • We provide a staff fund for social activities and food, to foster an environment where staff can share in activities with people we support and eat together in a homely environment.
  • We ensure that staff rotas are devised in accordance with the support people need and promote creativity within our staff hours to get the best for people and maximise opportunities.
Things we could do better:
  • We still do not have many people we support who are in paid work - while some people are very happy, we think there is more we could do to help people benefit from all of the things that being paid to work can bring - self-esteem, feeling valued, making friends, contributing etc.
  • We could make links with local employers to try to develop working relationships, educate and increase understanding of the importance of people with learning disabilities contributing to society through paid work.
  • We need to get better at 'spreading the word' about the things we have done to help people maximise opportunities, experience new opportunities and really feel they are living life to the full.

Care and support focuses on people being happy and having a good quality of life

Good things:
  • People will be happy if they have the right support as staff will truly focus on the things that fulfil each individual they support - before anybody takes up a permanent position, they will shadow shift to ensure they are right for the individuals we support and that they have a clear understanding of our expectations.
  • We gather good news stories regularly and share these in our newsletters - these show how happy people are in their different activities.
  • We have thorough support plans which tell us what makes a person happy, what upsets them and how we should support them in both of these areas.
  • We ask the people we support through annual questionnaires and monthly meetings what makes them happy and what we can do to be better.
  • We have a supported individual forum twice a year - the people we support chose to call this their "Friends of Glenelg" group, or "FOG" for short - we have key themes such as keeping safe, health and well being, healthy eating, hate and mate crime. We have fun too such as tasting sessions or Zumba and we invite guest speakers to come along to share ideas and give us information.
  • We love our annual Christmas party and take lots of photos to share with each other; we have regular social events through the year too, like summer barbecues, birthday celebrations and parties at key times like Halloween or Easter.
  • We received feedback from the families of the people we support which tells us how being supported by Glenelg has made a huge difference in the lives of their family members.
Things we could do better:
  • We need to continue to try to be creative in looking for new and meaningful opportunities for people we support - we do recognise that for some people, routine can be extremely important but it is also true that lots of people like to try new things.

A good culture is important to the organisation

Good things:
  • The thing we are most proud of in Glenelg is our culture and we need to protect and nurture this as we grow. We are awarded the Investors in People standard and we are told that we need to "bottle" what we have, as it was found that we have a "unified understanding" of our "common goal" in "putting the supported individuals first"
  • We were told that "people indicated that they got excellent support from their managers"
  • We were told by a family member that "individuals who love will learn competence but competent individuals may never learn how to love" - this is a true reflection of how we work as we support people to find staff who have the core values and ethos we share, followed by intensive training to enhance working with these values and developing skills required.
  • We have signed up to the Social Care Commitment which involves 7 promises around recruitment, thorough induction, supporting skills, upholding standards, taking responsibility, effective supervision and supporting staff
  • We value our staff immensely - this is evident in our Investors in people feedback, but internally we recognise staff in other ways such as recognition awards.
  • We have a parent who supports us by facilitating our family forums twice a year - this feeds into our culture of the Glenelg 'triangle of support' where supported individuals, families and staff are all working together to achieve.
Things we could do better:
  • Sometimes we feel we don't tell enough people about the good things happening across our organisation and for the people we support - we keep a lot of positive things to ourselves when we should be sharing this more openly.
  • We need to find better ways of supporting people who have profound learning disabilities to be as fully involved as possible - this will be helped by the fact that we have now identified a specific person who will lead on communication issues and support staff teams to learn better how to communicate with people in their preferred way, which will increase their ability to tell us what they want and need.

Managers and board members lead and run the organisation well

Good things:
  • All of our managers have been support workers for a long time before they took on supervisory roles so they have a good working knowledge and understanding of our organisation.
  • Our service managers do not just work remotely. They visit the services for which they are responsible on a regular basis - at least fortnightly; they are always available for advice and support.
  • Our Operations Manager also visits our services regularly to carry out Quality Monitoring Visits - this ensures she has a visible presence across our services for both the people we support and our staff.
  • We have always planned ahead to ensure that we have the right resources and structures in place to continue to provide the best quality services we can - this has involved recruiting and promoting key people to support the infrastructure.
  • We are really proud of our internal Certificate in Leadership and Management programme (CLM) which is a 9 week programme to provide first line managers with a number of skills and tools as well as focussing on their own learning and development.
  • We commit to ensuring that all staff are supported to achieve a qualification to recognise the professionalism of our roles - all staff are encouraged to achieve NVQ/Diploma in Health & Social Care.
  • We operate an environment where people feel able to challenge the way we operate and offer 'upward feedback' - every individual is valued and their contribution towards the people we support is recognised.
  • We were told that managers are "honest, motivational, considerate, visible, innovative, passionate and visionary" while promoting a culture of "the managers wouldn't ask anybody to do anything they wouldn't do"
  • We were also told that "Management (right up to the top) is always approachable... never made to feel as if you are being a nuisance"
Things we could do better:
  • Some really good ideas are put forward at our staff forums but we have recognised that sometimes it takes too long to feedback our response so people can feel not listened to. We also need to ensure we feed information across the whole of the organisation so that it filters to everyone.
  • Service Managers should attend team meetings in every service at least twice a year to be able to support staff teams and be available for advice and support as well as celebrating achievements.
  • We need to ensure that when staff have supervision, they recognise the benefits of discussing skill levels in terms of practical abilities, not just what training needs they may have.
  • We need to ensure management information flows better as we grow - responsibilities need to be clearly identified to enable us to manage resources better as they are not always clear and lots of different people can be involved in the same task.