Creative risk management at Hft

Sam is 48 and has recently needed paid support as his mother, his rock and inspiration, had died. One favoured memory was the great camping trips they took. Sam decided that he would return to one of their favourite haunts for a two week holiday; he was adamant he would be going alone. This raised concerns as Sam has type 1 Diabetes and does not always manage this well.

The team worked with Sam to find ways of achieving his trip and remaining healthy, safe and well.

It was important for Sam to know he was in control. The service manager supported him to visit his G.P and diabetes nurse who explained to him the importance of checking his sugar levels and taking his insulin.  Sam was communicated with in a way he understood; he knows the dangers of not keeping his sugar levels within the limits. He had been supported to prepare questions so he could find solutions to some of the potential problems of being away.

Sam felt it would be OK to keep his insulin in the tent, the nurse explained to Sam that this would mean the medication would not work as it would get too hot. By working through the dangers with Sam at a level and pace he could understand, he was able to work out compromises that gave him the independence he wanted but also kept him safe.

Sam was supported to get an additional phone so he could be sure he had one charged at all times. His support team set alarms to remind him to check his sugar levels and inject himself with insulin. Sam agreed that he would phone in the levels so his team could advise him if the results meant he was at risk and support him to take action. He agreed that he would use a cool box for his insulin pens and that support staff would visit every two days to change them over. This meant his insulin remained active and he could check in with the team rather than them contacting him; something he did not want.

The team supported Sam to write a communication passport that he kept in his rucksack just in case he needed help. This included important phone numbers and what to do if Sam was experiencing ill health.

On the first day of the holiday Sam was supported at the campsite. He enjoyed teaching his staff member how to put up a tent and organise a campsite. The team member used the opportunity to support him to find his way around the site and introduce himself to the site staff just in case he needed help.

Sam had a great holiday; he met new people and experienced new things. He has taken time to think about his holiday and decided that a static caravan might be better next year; he is planning for this now.

Sam has experienced immense loss recently, his life has changed, and for the first time he is receiving paid support. He does struggle managing his health needs, and he also does not like the demands this places on him to maintain contact with his support team.

By finding creative ways to achieve Sam’s holiday, the team put him at the centre - risk assessments were positive and the very real risks managed creatively.