Optalis - Choices for living

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Turning services around is never easy and when you inherit poorly performing services for people with learning disabilities, complex needs and behaviours that challenge, the difficulties are greatly magnified.

In 2012 Optalis was asked to manage a number of failing residential care homes by Wokingham Borough Council. These services are now fully compliant with the CQC - a massive achievement.

How did we do it?

An initial audit was carried out through visiting, observing, monitoring, and getting a feel for the services.  

What became obvious early on was that the level of training, skills and support for staff was lacking. There was no leadership presence, and carers worked very long days, which was tackled through consultation and communication of a clear forward direction.

A training programme was introduced to bring staff knowledge and skills up to the required standard, and relevant underlying policies and processes were in place behind the scenes. The expertise of external professionals was enlisted to provide bespoke training around the needs of individuals.

What happens now?

Staff no longer view ‘going for a drive’ as a meaningful activity. Residents are now living real lives where they do real activities.  For example, one person who rarely went out in the evenings before is now out most nights (with support) and someone else who had not been out for a considerable time now goes to local shops, visits the train station (he loves trainspotting) and goes swimming on a regular basis (all with support).

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