AFG praised for ‘positive transition’ work

Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group has praised Alternative Futures Group for its part in supporting Chris (not his real name), who has learning learning disabilities, through a serious deterioration in his mental health.

Lancashire Team leader Michelle Stewart said: “It shows the positive impact that a dedicated team can have in these circumstances. I’m so proud of them.

“At no point did his support team lose hope or give up trying to get him the treatment he so desperately needed. Although there is still a long road ahead for recovery, such positive support has been recognised by professionals outside of AFG. “

Chris was supported at home by a consistent staff team who all worked overtime and weekends to ensure he could safely stay at home whilst awaiting a mental health bed on a secure unit. If this hadn’t happened it’s likely that Chris would have deteriorated further and more rapidly, and potentially ended up being detained in a place of safety which would have been detrimental to his condition.

Michelle explained: “As a team we engaged and communicated daily with the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), relaying all the changes and concerns we had to them to ensure additional support systems were put into place as early as possible. Because staff managed the situation safely within Chris’s home environment meant that he was able to wait for a bed locally and, critically, avoided being placed far away from home.”

During a hospital admission of more than a month, his support team regularly visited – often in their own time due to funding constraints – to maintain contact with Chris  and to help him keep up his relationships with others.

Chris’s transition was well supported by a consistent staff team who worked hard to minimise the disruption to both Chris and his housemate. They worked collaboratively with the hospital, community team and strategic support teams to develop appropriate plans and risk assessments to reduce risk and facilitate a positive transition.

When Michael was discharged, his support staff adapted their support appropriately and effectively – preventing the need for interventions.

“I’m delighted how Chris’s support staff have consistently taken a positive approach to supporting him during this difficult time and have worked collaboratively within the MDT to provide a proactive support network. Full credit should go to the support team of Gillian Brown, Adam Gaskell, Sarah Howard, Anthony Berry and Anthony Williams  for never giving up on the people we support. Always putting them at the heart of all they do.”

Following a post discharge meeting for Chris, Lancashire CCG was so impressed with how his deterioration and subsequent ongoing rehabilitation were handled by AFG and the local community teams that they intend to use the case study as an example of good practice.