Driving Up Quality

Driving Up Quality

James Hourihan, Author

Recently, our Training Director, James Hourihan was invited by Empeiria Training to present at a “Driving Up Quality” event in Cheshire organised by 1st Enable. The presentation was initially designed to present a single case study. However, the diversity of the participants meant that we were able to spend time interacting with the group in more general terms about positive approaches to supporting people in crisis.

Quality Audience

The audience partially consisted of commissioners and support staff. However, a significant number of the audience were people being supported by 1st Enable. For us, this was a unique experience and a fantastic opportunity to learn. Too frequently, conferences about equality, behaviour, inclusion or disability are full of academics with very few attendees who are at the receiving end of services. We were delighted to see those being supported in attendance. Especially, with the contributions they made in making the event successful and fun.

Case Study (EW)

Our presentation was based on a case study of a young man (EW) who moved into supported living with 1st Enable in December 2020. In his previous placement, he was frequently restrained. Restraint records provided by his previous placement indicated that it was more than 10 times a month. Since his transition to 1st Enable, the frequency of restraint has disappeared almost completely. In the time since his arrival, there has been only one instance of restraint and that was in the first month. This is a remarkable achievement in restraint reduction and we were amazed at how well he has transitioned to his new service. All the information about EW from previous placements had suggested he would need to be restrained three to four times per week.

Moments of Crisis

This does not mean he doesn’t have moments of crisis. But, it does mean the method of supporting him has changed radically. Previously, he might have found himself being restrained during any indications of elevated crisis. Staff now have the confidence and support to give him significantly more space earlier in his crisis cycle and therefore defuse earlier and reduce levels of any interventions.

Changes in Approach

These changes have been achieved through a combination of factors. Appropriate staffing, a more welcoming environment and more engaging activities. 1st Enable have a clear overview of strategy in supporting him by using a positive behavioural support model. Timian’s training in defusion, de-escalation and appropriate interventions, with a clear emphasis on supporting him to de-escalate has been significant.

A Tough Question

At the end of the presentation, we put our company motto on the screen. A motto we deeply believe in and is the driving force behind our training.

In This Place and With These People, I Feel Safe

This had been up on the screen for a few moments as I read it out. A woman with lived experience of being restrained during moments of crisis asked us an incredibly important question,

“So, what does EW think? Does he really feel safe?”

A participant at the event

This type of question is core to driving up quality in organisations. Frequently, many of the strategies put in place to reduce restraint, take little account of the feelings of the people on the receiving end. Fortunately for us, there was a person there who could answer the question on behalf of EW.

A Fantastic Answer

We said, unfortunately EW isn’t here today, but his mum is. Let’s ask her. EW’s mum responded by saying.

I know that EW now feels safe and supported. But, I wished this had happened 17 years ago, his life would have been very different.

EW’s Mum

Let’s Drive up Quality

We found the “Driving up Quality” event to be one of the most worthwhile events we’ve ever attended. We’ve made some new friends and learned a lot. We’ve even found someone with a story to tell about her experiences and we are going to support her to get her story out there. Stay tuned for her Podcast on her life experiences!

If you genuinely want to improve the quality of your service, ask those you serve what they need.

If you want any more information on Driving up Quality or Timian, then please get in touch here

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