Monday, 12 March 2012

New service for adults with learning disabilities receives national commendation

Service user Alan pictured with Sharon Allen, chief executive officer of Skills for Care in Manchester last week

Leeds City Council’s learning disability community support service was ‘highly commended’ at a ceremony in Manchester last week.

The service was recognised in the ‘Most effective new approach to service delivery’ category, at Skill for Care’s ninth accolades ceremony on Thursday, 8 March.

The accolades are recognition of an individual or organisation's success in improving the lives of people who use social care services through workforce development, and a commitment to innovation.

The learning disability community support service in Leeds has recently been transformed, to ensure that it delivers the very best possible services and outcomes for customers and their families, helping them to benefit from all that the city that they live in has to offer.

The modernised service aims to make sure that people with learning disabilities can live, learn and participate as equal members of the community, determine for themselves what support they receive, and are afforded the same opportunities as any other adult.

This has been achieved through transforming accommodation services through the Independent Living Project and day services through the Fulfilling Lives Project, and continuing to involve customers throughout the changes.

The Independent Living Project has significantly increased opportunities for adults with learning disabilities or mental health needs to live independently. This has been achieved by replacing hostel-style accommodation with high quality, purpose built properties across a number of sites throughout Leeds.

The Fulfilling Lives Project is allowing resources that were previously tied up in buildings to be redirected into providing a much more personalised service for customers.

The success of both of these projects has been dependent on staff working closely with customers and their carers to gain a thorough understanding of their needs and wishes, and ensuring that individual support plans are in place for everyone involved.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member responsible for adult health and social care said:
“I am delighted that the transformation of our learning disability community support service has been commended in this way.

“People with learning disabilities have a right to feel that they are part of their local communities, and these new opportunities are empowering them to fulfil their potentials and follow their own interests.

“This recognition is a real pat on the back for the staff in the service, who have worked really hard to deliver these changes successfully, whilst keeping the needs of our customers and their carers firmly to the fore.

“I would also like to thank our partners in the voluntary sector for the part they have played in delivering the new service, and look forward to working with them in the future.“

Case study
Alan attended Moor End Day Centre for many years, but is now taking full advantage of some of the many new opportunities open to adults with learning disabilities as a result of the modernisation programme.

He now attends the new service base at Hillside in Beeston two days each week, where he has become involved in the community radio station. He attends drama, literacy and Tai Chi classes run by Leeds Health for All’s “As One” project in Holbeck. He is also the co–chair of the stakeholder involvement group and works as a receptionist one day each week for Leeds People First at their “Leep 1” project. Asked how he felt about his very busy new timetable Alan said, “I’m loving it all”, and that as part of his role with People First he wants to “tell people about how good the changes have been for him.”

Additional info

Skills for Care ensures that England's adult social care workforce has the appropriately skilled people in the right places working to deliver high quality social care.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578