About Us (6)
At Avondalecare we work successfully with a very wide range of needs and we tailor our support to be what is most practical and useful.
Every referral we get is considered on an individual basis. No case will be dismissed automatically on the basis that an individual falls into a category we do not work with. Our only principal criteria is that the individual be willing to work with us.
We have extensive experience dealing with some of the most challenging problems associated with mental health illness. We have successfully worked with clients who:
- Have drug and alcohol related problems
- Have been diagnosed with personality disorders
- Have a forensic history of violence
We also have a number of clients who have a high degree of independence and simply require support in one or two specific areas such as lifts to shops/appointments or help managing finances.
All of our clients will have:
- A qualified support worker for one to one support
- Support visits at a time and place that is convenient to them
- Variable levels of support that respond to an individual’s needs without interfering with their independence
- Help to find and maintain their own private accommodation if required
- Help to find opportunities to engage in voluntary work if desired
- Access to the busy Social Inclusion Centre which provides a wide range of social activities
- Access to the Emergency Out of Hours telephone line
To ensure we are able to assist other Care Professionals our organisation:
- Participates in Psychiatric and Care Programme Approach review meetings when requested
- Supports the medical approach and provides regular reports to Social Workers/CPN’s and/or Psychiatrists whenever necessary.
- Have protocols for helping to maintain medication compliance.
How we provide support
After receiving a referral the process of providing support will normally follow these three stages: Assessment, Settling In and Recovery.
After receiving a referral Avondalecare will arrange to visit the individual wherever is appropriate, including in hospital if necessary. The meeting is quite informal and provides the service user with the opportunity to meet one or two senior members of staff and ask any questions they may have.
The meeting also enables Avondalecare to get a better understanding of the person’s current needs, priorities and goals. Together with any relevant paperwork supplied by the Local Authority we use this information to begin drawing up a comprehensive support plan that considers their needs including psychological, social and financial issues.
If accommodation is required:
If service users do not have their own arrangements for accommodation then Avondalecare will be happy to help. We have extensive experience in sourcing affordable and pleasant housing options and are usually able to do so in a relatively short space of time.
Any specific housing needs or preferences (such as a garden, disabled access etc.) can be discussed at the initial meeting. We will then contact various existing partners with whom we work to arrange suitable accommodation options for the client that best meet their needs. We always endeavour to provide a range of options for service users to consider and will make arrangements for them to view the accommodation before making their decision.
Settling In Stage
Once it has been agreed by all parties for a client to come to us for support there will usually be a period of intensive support to help them settle in, especially if new accommodation is required. An experienced settlement worker will begin supporting the client from the time the support plan has been agreed to ensure a successful settlement. Later a suitable long term support worker may be appointed.
Support at the settling in stage can include things like:
- Help to register with local GP, Dentist etc.
- Ensuring there is sufficient furnishings, heating and electric for accommodation and support with cleaning/repairs to their own homes if necessary
- Help to organise any new medication regimes (blister packs/appointments for injections/Clozapine clinic)
- Applying for any necessary benefits or any other support to organise finances
- Attended CPA meetings if requested
Recovery Stage (Main Team)
Once a client has become settled and has all their immediate needs met the level of our support adapts to whatever the assessed needs of the individual are. The goal will be for them to have the necessary amount of contact with their support worker that is helpful in maintaining an independent, stable lifestyle.
If at any point a client becomes unwell, we work alongside the relevant authorities and organisations to try to help that individual to recover stability without being hospitalised. If however periods of hospitalisation do occur then we will continue to visit and offer whatever support may be required.
It is worthy of note that the vast majority of Avondalecare clients see a significant reduction in the frequency of readmissions to hospital. We believe this is because the regularity of contact enables our staff to spot triggers early and resolve them before hospitalisation is required.
The quality of the service Avondalecare provides relies very heavily upon the quality of the people who work for us.
Working in the social care field is not like many other areas of employment, it requires special skills and personal qualities such as compassion, patience and open-mindedness.
Therefore Avondalecare do not employ just anyone looking for a job; we select our staff from a wide range of backgrounds and choose people primarily for their people skills, compassion and enthusiasm for making a difference in people’s lives.
Our senior management team have extensive experience in the social care field and include a senior social worker, a Registered Mental Health Nurse and managers with degrees in Health and Social Care. Collectively the management team has over fifty years experience in social care and mental health. They understand the need for and are committed to providing a genuinely practical, quality service that can be of real benefit.
Our staff are supported to start a life long learning process whilst working for Avondalecare and this means that staff are encouraged to complete suitable NVQ or Diploma qualifications with local colleges and/or the Open University.
Everyone who works for Avondalecare is expected to fully participate in an ongoing process of training and self-education. We aim for all our staff to achieve a minimum standard within a year which includes:
- Food Hygiene
- Health & Safety
- Fire Safety Awareness
- Risk Assessment
- Diet & Nutrition
- Basic Emergency Aid
- Manual Handling
- Infection Control
- Coping with Aggression in the Workplace
- Care and Administration of Medicines
- Safeguarding Adults
- Death, Dying & Bereavement
- Mental Capacity Act 2005
- Equality, Diversity & Equal Opportunities
- Common Induction Standards
- Stroke Awareness
- Mental Health Matters
In harmony with our recovery focused ethos, all staff are fully familiar with the principles of the Solution Focused Approach. This means they are trained to help and encourage clients to find their own solutions and increase their independence.
As well as a full programme of education during the induction process all of our staff, including managers, regularly participate in regular in-house training presented by staff which has so far covered topics such as:
- Mental Health Law
- NICE guidelines for mental health
- Recovery Star Planning
- Solution Focused Approaches
- Lone Working
- ASD issues
- Promoting Independence
- Reflective Practice
- Exercise and Mental Health
Our experience has shown that the stability of an individual’s mental health can best be improved if we first take the time to develop a trusting, professional relationship between themselves and us. Through this working relationship we are able to help individuals see the benefit in small, gradual and lasting changes which include:
- An increased awareness of their personal mental health issues together with self-education
- An increased engagement with mental health professionals
- Improved medication compliance together with the developing of progressive relationships with medical staff in order to devise medication regimes which support best outcomes
- A decrease in the use of street drugs and improvement of individuals understanding of their potential impact upon mental health
- Reduction in hospital admissions
Many people in the process of recovering from a spell of poor mental health can neglect their physical health. Poor physical health can also become a stressor and trigger towards poor mental health. Avondalecare therefore try to help individuals maintain good physical health by:
- Helping service users to improve their engagement with medical staff, acting as an advocate where required.
- Promote a healthy lifestyle through arranging enjoyable physical activity at the Social Inclusion Centre such as gym, football, badminton, bowling and walking.
- Help individuals register with all health professionals and facilitate regular checkups and any ancillary medical intervention.
- Promotion of healthy lifestyles through one to one contact and helping individuals improve in their own self-education regarding healthy lifestyles
- Facilitation of KCA support services for service users with addictions which affect physical health.
We believe that emotional stability is essential to developing long term good mental health. Accepting past trauma and developing positive, healthy relationships takes time and new skills may have to be learned. Avondalecare works to help this process through:
- Providing one to one support from qualified staff in response to perceived need.
- Training all staff in SFA (Solution Focused Approaches) so that we can actively encourage service users to develop their own solutions to their problems.
- Promoting helpful family engagement. By spending one to one time with clients we can encourage positive attitudes towards family where appropriate and help improve communication skills and respect through the example of our own professional relationship.
- Providing access to helpful therapies of an individual’s choosing such as counselling, reflexology and therapeutic massage.
Avondalecare believes that financial stress leads to poorer mental health and so also provides:
- Advice and support on budgeting through one to one support.
- Facilitation of advice from CAB.
- Support to claim all necessary benefits Support with ESA assessments.
- Act as advocate where required e.g. in dealing with the bank and benefit tribunals.
- Small interest free loans to purchase necessary items to prevent extreme hardship.
Avondalecare believes that helping a person towards improved mental health requires and understanding of both medical and social factors. Social stability is linked to healthy finances, healthy emotions, and better mental health. We promote improved social stability through:
- Our Social Inclusion Centre - facilitating positive interdependent peer support networks and arranging enjoyable social activities such as sports, classes and day trips.
- Promoting confidence to engage in community based activities.
- Tutoring of service users through one to one contact on ways to improve their current relationships.
- Show through example and positive peer pressure how to behave in a way that can promote healthy and positive relationships.
- Helping individuals engage with the wider community e.g. support to go to college and arranging volunteer jobs.
Poor mental health is linked to poor housing and we believe that living in a more socially cohesive environment decreases stressors and triggers to poor mental health. We also believe that giving individuals a choice over whether they want to share or have their own flat can be of great benefit. Therefore Avondalecare seeks, wherever possible, to improve the social environment of our clients.
Over a number of years we have developed good working relationships with local housing providers to enable us to give clients the option of living in their own privately rented accommodation.
We work hard with clients to help them maintain their tenancies and the healthfulness of their accommodation as we believe this is important to a person’s sense of place and stability.
Practical, effective, recovery focused support.
Avondalecare provides a practical, responsive support service throughout East Kent to individuals and families who are dealing with the challenge of living with a mental health condition. We are committed to delivering a genuinely person centred service that will be of real benefit to our clients.
Some of the key things we provide include:
- One to one support from qualified staff.
- Professional and practical support to address any issues inhibiting an individual's recovery (e.g. financial, emotional, social and psychological issues)
- Help for clients to obtain and maintain their own private accommodation.
- A social club that regularly arranges sporting activities, art and photography classes, social events, day trips etc.
- Emergency support in the evenings and weekends via a dedicated phone line.
At Avondalecare we fully believe in a recovery focused approach and work hard to help individuals obtain and maintain all the skills and support they require to live as successfully and independently as possible.
We have extensive experience working with some of the most challenging situations that mental health problems can cause. To Avondalecare everyone is an individual and no one is dismissed as “too difficult” on the basis of past events. We strive hard to build mutually respectful, trusting relationships with our clients so that we are better able to help them towards gaining increased stability and control over their lives.
If you would like to learn more about what we do please see How can we help?
Avondalecare has been developing an online support plan portal called ECCO with Adam Hamer & Holly Carr of Ecco Solutions since late 2011. Adam has a MSc from Sheffield University in Programming and Internet Security. The project has been developed out of our shared experience within health and social care and programming.
What does it do?
The system allows Avondalecare Ltd to evidence client outcomes as they are achieved. The outcomes are split into the following areas:
- Mental Health
- Physical Health
- Emotional Health
- Social Contact
- Living Skills
Every time contact is made with a service user something is achieved, even if it is only the continuing development of ‘trust and rapport’. Each contact report, is assigned as evidence of meeting or attempting to meet any of the predefined pre-agreed goals within the support plan. If you like to know what all the possible outcomes are that can be chosen to form a support plan, please speak to us.
As well as evidencing outcomes it allows Avondalecare to become paperless; the client’s entire file is kept online for access by themselves and those they allow access. The system also includes a risk management system, calendar and automated referral system.
But what about Confidentiality and Security?
Information is kept on the most secure servers in the UK. These are the same ones that the NHS uses to maintain their online patient databases. For more information about confidentiality and what Internet security is used to protect information please speak to us, or find for information at the end of this article.
Are predefined outcomes ‘person centered’?
It may sound as if ‘predefined’ outcomes are a bit restrictive and not person centered, but the outcomes have been written in such a way as to allow a large degree of latitude in how the outcomes are achieved. The outcomes have been written in such a way in order for them to be universal in their need to be achieved. Here are just a few examples of 180+ goals that have been identified: Outcome/Goal:
- For Support worker and Service User to met to build rapport and trust.
- To be registered with a GP.
- To regularly meet with friends/ peers to develop interdependence and peer support networks.
- To identify a long held desire which until now has not been realised due to the obstacle of poor health.
- For the service user to identify, attend and benefit from community activities without support.
- Recognise that social opportunities exist and maybe beneficial to improving confidence.
The two concepts that make this predefined outcomes person centered are therefore:
1. The service user can choose which outcomes they want to achieve.
2. Although the end goal may be somewhat prescriptive, how the goal is achieved is not.
Where did the outcomes come from?
The outcomes have been written by our staff and service users and have been developed from MHPF (Mental Health Providers Forum) and Triangle’s Recovery Star. In consultation with staff and service users we have developed the outcomes based on attempted and achieved ‘real world’ outcomes and goals. We used the ‘Recovery Star’ as our starting point and developed the outcomes to fit into the Recovery Star’s underlying model of change
|File||Description||File size||Last modified|
|ECCO Solutions - The company||ECCO Solutions - A description of the company||44 Kb||16/06/12 07:15|
|ECCO - The Software||A Description of the ECCO software||43 Kb||16/06/12 07:15|
|What is ECCO?||A 2 page description of the online support planning tool||317 Kb||16/06/12 07:01|