Holywell's tenant focused interview procedure
Two modern residential homes which can accommodate up to three people per house were deregistered to Supported Living. The previous model of care could be described as mainly institutional with a “parental” approach. Only three full-time members of staff worked in these houses and packages did not reflect the individual needs of residents, which meant that most of the clients’ activities were group activities.
From the day Holywell Care Services took over as a supported living provider, the management team prepared fresh, person centred plans, care plans and support plans. These were completed in close consultation with the tenants, their families and commissioners. Once these were agreed, Holywell advertised for staff. The initial interviews were completed at the office and a short list of potential staff was produced. Shortlisted candidates were invited to a second interview and they were asked to bring with them a one page profile (pen picture) with a photograph to assist the tenants to remember who they had interviewed. Tenants were supported by Managers to prepare for the interviews: they were asked their views about what was important to them; what they expected from staff; and, how they would like to be supported. These points were typed up.
A local community hall was hired in a location that was convenient for tenants’ families to attend at a date and time suitable for all. In this second round of interviews, tenants and their families adopted an ‘X factor’-style of interviewing. The families and tenants were seated with their previously prepared questions and one by one the candidates were brought into the hall and interviewed. At the end of interviews, all pen pictures were displayed and discussions took place. Tenants, supported by their families, were confident in choosing who they wanted to recruit to the support team.
Tenants now appear confident to speak to staff and other professionals about any concerns they have. For example, one tenant, who has limited communication, kept saying “I don’t want to get into trouble”. Now the tenant has sufficient confidence to make his needs known: the sympathetic approach of staff was crucial in building this tenant’s confidence in reporting any concerns. Now that the tenant has been able confidently to express his wishes, Holywell were able to quickly seek help from outside agencies to provide specialist support. This has led to several multidisciplinary meetings, which identified actions that have had positive outcomes. One tenant has been moved out of one of the houses and now lives independently.
A social worker who had been involved with these tenants over several years gave an opinion and described the tenants as now ‘being themselves’. In the past, the houses were often quiet and very orderly: now, they resemble homes that look ‘lived in’ and personal effects are visible, such as tenants’ favourite pictures hanging on the walls. One tenant can now be heard singing happily, which apparently didn’t happen when residential care had been provided. Behaviours that had been suppressed have now surfaced, which has sometimes challenged the support team. Overall, the feedback from social workers, tenants and families has been very positive.
See their DUQ page here