Empowering people

We are one of the UK’s biggest providers of adult social care services for disabled people. Every year we support around 7,000 people offering:

The last year hasn’t been easy with pressure on public funding, changes to the employment market, introduction of the new National Living Wage, and changes to the way some of our services are regulated.

We have responded positively to make sure we are in a strong position to continue to support as many people as possible and grow our services over the coming years.

Key facts

  • total number of services for social and leisure activities 
  • 36% of people who use our services took part in Future Choices 
  • 180 — total number of services 
  • 97% of residents happy with the service we provide 
  • 8 pilot services took part in Future Choices

What we achieved last year

We aimed to:

  1. Launch the Future Choices pilot in a group of homes with care. Future Choices is one of our most ambitious programmes yet. We are aiming to speak to every single person using our services, so we can understand better what individuals most want, now, and in the future. Following the successful appointment of our Future Choices strategic lead, we launched our pilot in September 2015, starting with workshops in Godfrey Robinson House, a residential service just outside Hull. This was followed by workshops across Yorkshire, the East Midlands and in Inverness.

    The feedback from these workshops will help us roll out the programme across all our residential services. Over the coming year, we will be learning a lot more and working with our residents to ensure better outcomes and better services.

  2. Man showing resident a fishLook for new opportunities to support more disabled people across the UK. We work with regulators to make sure that we support every single person that uses our services. In England, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) implemented a new way of inspecting services. We worked closely with them in their new market oversight scheme and our head of quality improvement has been looking at the way the CQC regulates and carries out inspections.

    In Scotland, we have been working with the Care Inspectorate, taking part in a pilot inspection about improved reporting. The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) has begun to change the way they work. We sat on a working group with them as part of the consultation on these changes and we have participated in discussions about the implementation of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act.

    In Northern Ireland, we have achieved accreditation with Investors in Volunteers, and we have been working with the Regulation and Quality Improvement Agency (RQIA) as part of their pilot for developing a new inspection model. To help our services keep up to speed, we are working on a brand new quality assurance framework. This will look at improving how we manage our frontline care and clinical governance while bringing our internal auditing in line with our regulators.

    We are improving our care and clinical practice, including our

    • personalised care planning tools
    • policies and procedures
    • customer surveys

    We have continued to implement care plans tailored to the individual’s needs and aspirations. We have been working to make sure we take the learnings from our Future Choices programme to shape how we develop these plans. This means we are continuing to improve how we evidence the effectiveness of our services and the impact they are having on the lives of the people who use them.

    We have also continued to host the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group Personalisation Network and we have welcomed speakers from CQC and Think Local Act Personal, to share information about topics, including value-based recruitment and communicating with people who don’t use words. We take part in all of this activity because it helps us focus on the needs of the individual.

  3. Man in a wheelchair holding a blue ballWork hard to improve the physical environment of our properties. For the third year running, we have stepped up our property capital investment programme by completing the refurbishment of some of our care homes and adding capacity. This year, we invested over nine and a half million pounds to improve the standard of accommodation in our residential services. For example, at St Anthony’s care home with nursing in Wolverhampton, we carried out a project which included upgrading the ensuite bathrooms and creating a new activities room.

  4. Enhance our clinical leadership. We are delighted to have appointed a practising GP, Judith Dawson, as our clinical lead. Building on our existing clinical care expertise, this new post will chair our new clinical forum. The forum will work with fellow providers to help us develop further our clinical expertise.

Our goals for next years

Staff and residents holding raffle itemsWe will:

  • Roll out our Future Choices programme to all our residential services across the UK. We’ll use this feedback to inform our business plans across the whole organisation.
  • Set up our new clinical forum. This will allow us to build stronger partnerships with other organisations who support disabled people.
  • Refresh our quality assurance framework to make sure our services are meeting the needs of disabled people in the best way possible.
  • Continue investing in our properties, finding new ways to use the spaces well, and building extra capacity based on what people need.
  • Improve our recruitment, retention and support for our most valuable asset: our staff team.