Staff Choice Awards 2018/19
Team of the Year Award

Adult Learning Disability Community Team

Is a finalist for this award

Lowestoft, Suffolk 

The nomination said...

Team members work well together as a unit to achieve positive outcomes for service users and carers. They are also able to communicate well with other teams and services in order to achieve these outcomes.

Since gaining additional staff as part of a redesign of the service, the team have been innovative and creative in supporting service users and carers. The service user and carers forum is hosted by the team and is well attended and proactive. The team also hosts a LGBT group for which it was recognised at the Trust’s equality and diversity awards earlier in the year.  We also offer a drop-in service for physical health monitoring and advice in the community called the ‘My Health’ group. Alongside this, additional focused advice sessions have been developed and are in the process of being delivered.

We also now have a service user volunteer employed to assist with ensuring reasonable adjustments are in place. This includes being part of the easy read group which is hosted in the locality.

Our support workers have taken a key role with the above innovations with guidance from Sue Medley who is the Specialist LD nurse who is based with the team for part of her time.

As part of the service redesign which was initiated in early 2017, the team were asked to provide a liaison role to assist GP practices to be able to provide and promote reasonable adjustments for their patients who have a learning disability. This work has been led in the team by a Band 6 nurse and an Assistant Practitioner. They have had extensive liaison with GP practices in the locality over the past 18 months to two years and have made effective links with practice managers. There are also now link clinicians identified within the team who are allocated links with specific surgeries in order that they can ask for advice where needed. We have also been able to provide specific training for practices where necessary. Part of the rationale for the GP liaison is to increase the percentage of people with a learning disability being offered, and having, annual health checks. Since the introduction of the GP liaison function, there has been an increase in the percentage uptake in the locality from below 50% to 70%.

The team have also been proactive in ensuring that physical health of service users is considered and monitored. To this end, we have been devising a system whereby physical observations can be carried out on all those service users who are prescribed anti-psychotics and are seen in the psychiatry clinic. We are currently in the process of revising and agreeing this process.

A dementia pathway has also been developed between the team and the memory treatment service. This working relationship has been in place for over a year. This has enabled our clients to have specialist assessments and have access to medications which have ensured more positive outcomes.

The team are also in the process of agreeing a project which will enable us to monitor the sleep patterns of people with learning disability and dementia.

The team’s strength is very much based on a strong ethos of wellbeing and caring for each other. We have two wellbeing champions who are instrumental in organising wellbeing activities for the team, for example, they have organised regular themed shared lunches.

Team members are always welcoming of students and visitors and have often been complimented on their friendly approach. New team members are also always welcomed and are able to feel part of the team quite quickly. This was particularly demonstrated in 2017 when the team gained a number of new staff as part of a redesign of the team.

The team are a strong and cohesive unit and work well together to achieve the best possible outcomes for service users. Team members always show support for each other professionally. They also support each other personally.

In conclusion, I would like my team to be recognised for all the good work that they have been part of over the past year. They have been part of the reason for the learning disability service achieving a “good” rating with the CQC in the inspection in 2017. The team have been working hard to maintain good performance this year.