Example B – transition from residential care to community living

  • A team was set up to support a service user with learning disabilities to move from a residential care setting, where he had lived for 20 years, into a bungalow.  The team advocated on his behalf for rehousing and made sure the new accommodation met his needs and was decorated in a way which was to his liking; some staff gave up their weekends to help decorate his new home.   The move has given the service user independence, choice and control and has been a catalyst for change to his whole life. 
  • All the staff working with this service user have undergone training in safeguarding, dignity, basic and total communication skills, and positive behaviour support.  Knowledge and behaviour skills of staff are regularly reviewed, and further training offered where appropriate.  This service is of necessity very person centred having been set up to meet very individual needs, the team working closely with the individual to understand his likes and dislikes, aspirations and needs.  Working closely with the service user, and his family was key to enabling him to move into the community from residential care, and to ensuring that plans changed as the service user’s skills and confidence grew.  In developing responses to the service user’s needs staff need to balance tensions and desires, so for example the close relationship with the family was important, but equally so was the need for privacy.  Best interest decisions needed to be taken and this involved really working closely with the service user to understand what choices and decisions were appropriate. Staff were very clearly proud of all that had been achieved by the service user since moving to the community, and there was much evidence of increased self esteem and confidence, which had led to increased independence.  Communication is focused on techniques that are specific to this service user and ensure that they can remain at the centre of the decision-making process and add to the plans for activities and future developments.