On Friday 16th July, Skillnet's Tina Walker and Keith Wyncoll presented to 120 people at Kent County Council's Learning Disability Event at County Hall in Maidstone.
Since 2015, Skillnet has been involved in Transforming Care, an NHS (National Health Service) programme to improve care, support and progression for people in long stay hospitals. The programme was set up jointly by the NHS, Care Quality Commission and other Government bodies as a result of discovering that people with learning difficulties/disabilities and/or mental illness are being kept in hospital for too long, and some people have even been neglected or abused. An example of the findings that led to Transforming Care is the Winterbourne Review - https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/bubb-fin-rep-easy-read.pdf. The Government and the NHS say they want to bring people out of hospital to be supported in local communities but not enough is happening.
People are still not always getting the opportunity to be fully involved in decisions about their care and support. We want to work together with the NHS and government services to change this.
Skillnet has been asked to set up a Transforming Care Forum involving people supported by Cedar House (Canterbury) and The Chilterns (Herne Bay). This followed some initial conversations last summer when Keith met with two groups of young adults. They shared what was important to them in the future when they come out of hospital or hostel. This included thought on support, leisure, housing and keeping themselves and others safe. Skillnet has been asked to bring these people together again to think about their futures. Keith and Tina will meet with the group every 3 months for 18 months at Cedar House and The Chilterns. Their views will help inform future services.
Skillnet has also been part of Care and Treatment reviews which evaluate the practicalities of discharge plans for individual patients.
Photo - Graham Gibbens (KCC Cabinet Member for Social Care), Dan Hewitt (Co-chair of LD Meeting), Tina Walker (Non-Executive Director, Skillnet) and Keith Wyncoll (Project Lead - Transforming Care)