Welcome to the team Aaron!

Aaron joins the PBS Team from his role as a Team Leader with Godfrey Care. Adding to our existing team as a PBS Clinical Associate and Master NAPPI Trainer, this role is a pathway for Aaron to train as a PBS Practitioner with Godfrey Care. This new role represents a significant investment in accredited training, funding and supporting Aaron to study for the BILD BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Positive Behaviour Support as part of his role. As an integral member of the team, Aaron will help to design and implement interventions for service users and teams, using his skills and knowledge to develop our specialist services.

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Investing in PBS

As a specialist Provider in the Autism and Learning Disability sector, Godfrey Care has significantly invested in developing the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) model across all our services. In July 2023, we recruited a PBS Clinical Lead to create and implement the function with a clear strategy for the organisation, followed by recruiting a PBS Clinical Practitioner in January 2024. Our PBS Team offer direct clinical support with the implementation of Functional Behaviour Assessments, Behaviour Support Plans, Specialist Assessments and Transitions, Restriction Reduction Plans, Specialist Training for teams, and direct in-service support to mentor and coach staff to deliver interventions.

Adding to our existing team, the position of a full-time PBS Clinical Associate was created as a pathway for one of our Support Workers or Team Leaders to be supported in retraining for a new career with us. We’ve chosen to invest in this approach as we recognise that one of the greatest assets we have to ensure the people we support have fantastic lives is that of our teams. Creating opportunities for our teams to grow and develop as we expand as a company is of paramount importance to us. 

This new role represents a significant investment in accredited training for the successful candidate, who will undertake accredited NAPPI Level 4 Master Training alongside the BILD BTEC Level 5 Diploma in Positive Behaviour Support. Once the successful candidate has finished their initial 12-month training period as a Clinical Associate under the supervision of our PBS Team, they will qualify to become a certified PBS Clinical Practitioner.

We firmly believe in supporting everyone, both the people we support and our staff teams, to reach their full potential and continually shape who we are as a specialist Provider.

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Adam is a young man who came to us after living at home with his family. Adam is a young man with Autism, a Severe Learning Disability and high sensory needs. While Adams’s family had some help prior, it had not been anywhere near enough and had led to a breakdown of the support he had in place, which had a significant impact on his family. That’s when Godfrey Care stepped in. 

We assessed Adam and identified a number of unmet needs that had been missed by previous assessments and noted how these significantly impacted his day-to-day life. Adam was doubly incontinent, engaged in physically aggressive behaviours towards family and others, and spent his days watching cartoons as his educational and social care placements had deemed him too high risk to support. By looking beyond how Adam had been reported, we saw a young man with vast potential who was entitled to a good, happy life, so we set ourselves the mission of working jointly with Adam and his family to make this a reality. 

Through working with his parents, our staff completed a specialist transition for Adam, supporting him to move into our services. Following a Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA) by our PBS Clinical Lead and a Sensory Assessment by Occupational Therapy, it was identified that Adams’s undiagnosed sensory needs were significantly impacting his well-being, preventing him from engaging in everyday tasks, and his lack of assessed communication needs meant that he had an inability to communicate his distress. Through undertaking a teaching programme of the PECS approach with Adam, followed by adapting the environment to meet his sensory needs, Adams’s behaviours reduced from 5 incidents per week to an average of 1 per month. 

Through understanding his needs, Adam could again become part of his community, undertake activities, learn skills and access further education. Implementing the Active Support model with Adams’s staff team meant that he also moved from tasks being completed for him to those completed with him, increasing his everyday living skills and further widening his lifelong opportunities. 

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Lily was referred to our services following a number of placement breakdowns where teams had not understood or been able to support her behaviour. Lily had a diagnosis of Autism, Severe Learning Disability, and associated needs, displayed smearing behaviours, and refused to wear clothing. Her wider social network had broken down, and Lily was living in isolation with none to little chance at a happy, ordinary life. Following assessment, our specialist teams identified that we could provide Lily with a placement and begin to support her behavioural presentations to give her back the quality of life she deserved, identifying the reasons for her behavioural presentations instead of just reacting to them, and planning ways to teach her functional skills so Lily didn’t need to engage in challenging behaviours.

Through starting a specialist transition with Lily, her family, her professionals, and the information already known about her, we began to build a person-centred plan about how we could support Lily and began transitional visits to Lily to identify the ways we would need to support her. Our core focus was the upholding of Lily’s Human Rights, identifying life goals and opportunities for her, maximising her integration into community services, and providing her a placement that was bespoke to her wants and needs so we did not become just another temporary place for Lily. We were sure we could meet her needs, so we committed to Lily.

Before moving came, and as part of her transition, we used Social Stories with Lily to prepare her for her move, and after a transitional period Lily was familiar with the staff she would be supported by in her new placement, and had begun to form respectful, trusting relationships with them. We identified a Keyworker for Lily to lead the transition, and they were supported by our PBS Team to plan for all of Lily’s needs. At every stage we kept every stakeholder involved, sought feedback, shared our plans, shaped them based on feedback and made sure that everyone, most importantly Lily, was involved from the beginning.

Fast forward following Lily’s move into our service, and she has thrived! Lily trusts the team who supports her, she has visits with her extended family, has acquired a number of functional communication skills to express her needs, wishes and choices, wears clothing, accesses the community several times a week, and no longer needs to use behaviours that challenge to communicate her distress because her quality of life is good. Regular placement monitoring takes place, with feedback gained from Lily’s circle of support, and through adopting a true partnership approach we’ve given Lily back her dignity, respect, time with family and a home she loves in an apartment all of her own. 

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Working with others

Working in collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and this is never more important than when supporting adults with Autism and Learning Disabilities. Our Station House service works closely with different healthcare professionals, and we understand that the professionals visiting have large caseloads of individuals and cover a wide geographical area. Our role is to make sure that we provide the platform for the professionals engaging with us to have access to the very best quality information. 

An example of this is when we work with our Community Learning Disability Nurses; we communicate regularly with them, involving the resident in these plans and using augmented communication techniques as verbal prompts, and ensure a warm and friendly welcome awaits them at the commencement of their visit to us. As a regulated Social Care service we hold an extensive range of information about people, and while all of this is very much needed, we know that making the most of the time of the professionals visit means that we provide the information, they require – whether this be verbal handovers from staff or access to care records – and that this is clear and shared in a coordinated manner. 

Feedback from Community Nurse

“A Nurse went to Station House and advised that she found the staff extremely helpful whilst she was there, they introduced themselves appropriately – which may sound like a small thing, but they were appropriate telling her their name, then repeating their name so she would remember. All the paperwork was clear, all the information was included, it was appropriate, not overloaded with old information and the paperwork was in order. The Nurse said it was a pleasurable visit. Most importantly, she explained at length about how positive and nice it was to see the interaction between staff and the people living at the service this was two people in particular (staff and person who lives at the service), she said the relationship was clearly well established and very positive. Oh and hospitality was good as well”

For us, empowering people to be part of every aspect of their lives is crucial, notably healthcare visits given the health inequalities we know that people with Learning Disabilitiescontinue to face, but also because we believe that person centred care is more than buzz words, it’s about providing the person with the tools and mechanisms to understand a visit, time to process this and time to think about how they want to get the most out of this, and ask the questions that are most important to them. To enable this, we use specialist interactions prior, during and after visits to affirm that we act beyond words, and that the relationships between residents and their staff are built on respect, are empowering and positive. 

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