Podcast Episode: Care Accolades 2013
Category: Social work (general)
What follows is a transcription of the audio recording. Due to differences between spoken and written English, the transcript may contain quirks of grammar and syntax.
MD - Michelle Drumm
AB - Alan Baird
AF - Anna Fowlie
SM - Susan McGregor
MR - Margaret Richmond
MM - Marlene Murray
DW - Diane Wright
CT - Caroline Tumath
AW - Alex Wallace
DM - David McKay
DB - David Bleasdale
MD The Care Accolades is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the achievements of those involved in Social Care Services across Scotland. The 2013 awards was held on a very sunny, 31st of May at Perth Concert Hall. It was attended by Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, and chaired by Gary Coutts, Convenor of the SSSC, and Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of SSSC.
Before the ceremony kicked off, Iriss.fm spoke to Alan Baird, Chief Social Work Advisor at Scottish Government, who was also one of the judges on the day, as well as Anna Fowlie, who told us about the significance of the awards and what there was to look forward to throughout the afternoon.
AB I think it’s one of the premier events on the social services calendar. Every year we see so many wonderful stories and hear so many stories about just how good Social Work Services are in Scotland, and the significant difference that services are making across Local Authorities, across Private Sector and a third sector, in changing peoples lives in a very positive way. It’s a great day and you are inspired by the surroundings, and in particular the real excitement that it generates for those that have been shortlisted, and over the years, I know how much that has meant to those that, not only have one, but have been part of the occasion.
I have been very fortunate to have been part of the judging panel, so clearly I can’t give too much away, but I know from the interviews that we had, the standards were incredibly high, a real drive, a real passion, real energy, but real skill, right across the board in terms of those that promoting themselves through Care Accolades today.
AF The Care Accolade is really the highlight of our year because what it does is, it demonstrates the fantastic work that’s going across Social Services in Scotland and lots of different projects in lots of different areas, and really special people who do fantastic work, and lots of service use our involvement, so that’s really important for us to see the people who actually benefit from those services, telling us what it means to them.
The entries this year have been far more sophisticated around personalisation and around integration, and you can feel it, there’s more partnerships entering the awards, so it actually feels like people working together on projects instead of one organisation maybe leading and other people working with them. So I feel it really has moved on, and personalisation actually is feeding through on all the categories now, not just in the personalisation category, so that’s quite encouraging.
I am really looking forward to meeting the Dementia Dog, there’s a dog coming, yes, that’s very exciting. But really just what I am looking forward to is seeing the films, seeing everybody’s faces and just the sort of humanity of it, I just love that, everyone is just so excited and it’s just a really buzzy day.
MD Susan McGregor from Cross Reach tells us about the two projects that their organisation was nominated for in the Adults and Older People category and the One to Watch for Adults and Older People category.
SM We actually have 2 parts, it’s Threshold Glasgow, it’s a service in Glasgow for adults with learning disabilities, and there are 2 parts to it. One is a day opportunity service, and they are here for innovation and redesign and the second part is our housing supports at the service, and therefore here for services and leadership. We have recently gone through, in the past couple of years, self directed support and personalisation which was a huge change for people and so they have gone from that and now to be nominated for an award is just wonderful, you know, everybody is just delighted about it.
MD Alzheimer Scotland is nominated for a number of awards, we spoke to Margaret Richmond of Alzheimer Scotland, and Marlene Murray, a recipient of Self Directed Support payment, about the organisation services.
MR We’ve been selected as finalists in the personalisation category. Alzheimer Scotland has been extremely committed to developing a personalised support service with the advent of Self Directed Support for people to try and support them with being in control, in charge of their own support, very much tailoring the support around them as opposed to the service being offered, so we offer one to one support, personal assistance, but we also provide support for people to obtain Self Directed Support, so they can choose the way that they use that care. Sometimes not from ourselves, sometimes from other sources. Marlene may be able to tell you a bit more about that.
MM I am actually in receipt of direct payment because my husband has Alzheimer’s and we have been in receipt of that now for 2 years and it’s absolutely fantastic, the self direct payment, it allows me to employ a personal assistant who takes my husband out, you know things that we wouldn’t normally get, and we now have that flexibility with it.
MD The Falkirk Falls Management Project, a partnership of Falkirk Council, within NHS Forth Valley, was the winner of the Working Better, Working Together category. Members of the team gave us some information on the project.
Team member: We were working in a project that’s a project in partnership with NHS Forth Valley and Falkirk Council, and what we are doing is looking at the way we manage the care of our falls in Falkirk Council. What we have been doing that’s different is that when somebody has 2 falls within 6 months, the Mobile Emergency Care Service can send our referral straight into the Reach Team at NHS Forth Valley, and that’s a team that provide assessment and rehabilitation in the community.
When I tend to see someone that’s been flagged as having 2 falls within 6 months, is to carry out a multi-factorial risk assessment within their home, looking at things like what footwear they are wearing, is it appropriate, is it fitting them properly, looking at the environment to see if there’s rugs that they might be tripping over or if there’s hazards, and trying to look and see what equipment is in place already, and if there’s equipment that we think might help to reduce the falls, you know maybe somebody is needing a physiotherapist to have a look at the (unclear…) needs they are having, you know they are maybe not appropriate any more or they are faulty, or they may be needing bathing equipment if their falls are happening within the baths, or equipment within the bedroom, you know, if they are having falls from their bed. So it’s really looking at everything at everything and discussing with the service user what it is that’s happening and looking to see what we can do.
We also work closely with the Fire Services, you know where we are identifying people that are maybe smokers and are maybe at risk of having fire within the home, where we will put a home fire safety assessment to the Fire Services for them to come out and look at what these risks are and discuss them with the service user as well, and through the MEX service we can put attachments onto the MEX alarm that the person has within their home that can automatically alert if there was a fire within the home, and if that’s felt that’s what’s needed then that’s asked in the service users agreement for that to be done.
MD We also spoke to the Community Dementia Teams Project at Argyle and Bute Council, who were nominated in the ‘Working better, working together’ category.
… part of the Community Dementia Teams for Argyle and Bute Council and NHS and Alzheimer Scotland, we are part of the ‘working together, working better’ nominations category, and it’s just about how our teams are working as a collaborative partnership to help people sustain their life in the community for longer. The partnership working that we have is that there’s 3 agencies all together that make up the teams, and that’s to break down the barriers and the obstacles to working across all the different fields. Health, Local Authority, Alzheimer Scotland and more and more so now, the third sector are coming into that as well. It’s also being looked at as how do we build on that to make better whole integration of adult services work as well, now that we have got this model up and running.
MD The Go For It Service was the winner of the Adults and Older People category. Diane Wright from Quarriers told us more about the initiative, which looks at making the internet, social media and other technology accessible to those with learning disabilities.
DW The Go For It service, it’s for people with disabilities, it’s all about making technology accessible to people with disabilities. We chose to focus on that area because that’s where the largest gap exists just now, and we believe that technology can really transform peoples lives. Just now some of the focus just now is based on basic participation in the online world, just knowing about the internet, how it works, being able to email people and just basic skills in using a computer, and that’s how we start and then we find out what the person’s goals are and we try and help them reach that goal. We run clubs and classes, but the clubs that we run, if we have 10 people in that club, each person has their own goal, and we have 25 volunteers that help us with that, which is crucial, they provide a lot of the one to one tutoring.
We also do, like as well as the clubs and classes, we do one to one assessments with people and that’s maybe for someone that needs more support, so maybe they can only use one arm or maybe they can only use their eye to control a computer, and we basically try and find out, find a piece of equipment they can use so that they can do whatever they want to do. It’s all person centred and it’s all about what that person wants, and we just believe that there’s technology out there that can help anyone do what they want to, what they need to do on the computer, it’s just a matter of finding it.
MD Caroline Tumath, a user of the Go For It Service, also gives us an insight into the positives of the initiatives.
CT Very good, manage to go on Facebook on my own.
DW When she started 6 months ago, Caroline just started learning the computer.
CT Yes, and I have really enjoyed it.
DW Yes, definitely, or even just keeping in touch with family, if you are supported by a charity and you are in a care service, maybe your family can’t get out to visit you as much as they’d like or, and it’s a way of keeping in touch with family through … Caroline actually started, we tried Skyping last week …
CT (unclear …) down at Quarriers, that was the first time I had done that. Learned to go on the computer myself without any help.
MD The Welly Boyz Music Project based at Wellington School was nominated for an award in the Children and Young People category. Alex Wallace, a Project Leader and some of the young people involved, told us more about it.
AW The project is Welly Boyz Music project, which involved the young people that are here with us today and a lot of other young people, in making a music video and documentary and an album, wasn’t there, as well? Initially it was to try improve engagement in literacy and sort of improve writing engagement across the school.
Young person: Well I have just made a part about something that I felt, and I wanted to produce it into music, so I pretty much expressed it, but in music, so … it’s on the Chaos pack really, in the mix of it.
Without a doubt it’s quite an amazing vehicle for learning.
Young person: To express how you feel through music. Music, like you can listen to it and you can think, ‘oh that expresses me quite well’, so …
And it helps you with your school work. Music makes me express myself, like there can be different music, it can be slow, you can feel sad, you can feel jumpy with music, there’s a lot of different music you can feel, so it’s good.
MD We also heard from David McKay, from the University of Strathclyde, about Strategic Intent Mapping, a collaboration between See Change and the University. This project was nominated in the Innovation and Redesign category.
DM The project was strategic intent mapping and it was a collaborative endeavour between See Change and the University of Strathclyde. What we were trying to do was rethink how strategy is made in an organisation to be far more inclusive, in order to deliver better results, get everyone by and give everyone a voice.
There’s a real problem with how strategy is made in general, it’s typically the domain of a few people at the top of an organisation, and working with See Change, towards promoting inclusivity in every sense of the word in how organisations run. We were looking to break some new ground in how strategy is made, so that everyone can be involved, everyone can have a voice, and the methods that are used are accessible. So between See Change and the University of Strathclyde, we designed a process that included a range of methods for analysing things in the background, but at the foreground we put inclusive processes so everyone could join in, and from the Improvement Council, the people See Change work for, through to the board members of the organisation, everybody followed the same process and it delivered some great results and everyone got the chance to have a voice, and I suppose that’s the most significant thing, is we have made a strategy now that everyone has participated in and the feedback from those involved says ‘yes, we can buy into this, we have had a say.’
MD Finally, David Bleasdale from Turning Point Scotland, told us about the Cree Studio project, a music and short film recording project involving a partnership between Dumfries and Galloway Councils Adult Learning Disability Service, and Turning Point Scotland.
DB I am involved in a partnership project with Dumfries and Galloway Council creating a music and short film studio called Cree Studio, it’s based in Newton Stewart in South West Scotland. Basically it was an idea by some of the members of local day service, people with learning disabilities and autism, who wanted a place where they could play and make music, so we converted an old garage into a small studio. Initially the idea was just to help people create some music and create CDs, but it’s grown in a very short space of time into making short films, and we have now done over 50 short films in the last 3 years. Mainly with schools, with individuals, but recently we have started to work with businesses locally, who want to promote their business, so we are starting to reach out into the community and do some community work as well. We have a small film crew which is made up of people with disabilities, and so it’s giving them skills, it’s giving them jobs, it’s giving them new things to learn and new responsibilities, and it’s also helping people who possibly are outwith the world of disability to recognise the skills that people with disabilities can bring. I mean it’s both a partnership project between 2 organisations, but everybody who comes to the studio is a partner and they bring their own creativity, their own skills and their own ideas about things they want to do, so the whole thing is about co production and partnership.
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