Page 28 - TalkCare_Issue5_Online.qxp_OACP Talking Care Issue 4 July 2017
P. 28

  everything that’s been achieved in terms of the educational development of MacIntyre’s workforce, it is how the Dementia Project has involved the people MacIntyre support that marks this work out as being something truly inspirational.
Involving people supported
by MacIntyre
Very early on in the Project, the team realised that to make this work really impactful and meaningful it had to have the people MacIntyre support at its heart. With this in mind, the ‘Keep Going.... Don’t Stop’ group was developed.
Based in Chesterfield, the group’s membership comprises people MacIntyre support, or have supported in the past, with monthly meetings facilitated by the Project team and supported by local MacIntyre staff. For the members of the ‘Keep Going...Don’t Stop’ group, these meetings are a chance to share their thoughts and knowledge, whilst learning more about dementia and health. The group have been involved in some vital work too, designing easy read documents on ‘Visiting the doctor’
and ‘Respect’.
Alongside this, individuals from across MacIntyre have attended events with the Project team, often asking important questions of conference speakers that others might not. From all of this collaborative work, the contribution of two ladies has really stood out.
Meet Rosie and Rachel
Rosie and Rachel are both supported by MacIntyre and have active weekly schedules that involve jobs across numerous services, including Rosie manning reception at MacIntyre’s Head Office and Rachel working in MacIntyre’s bakery, as well as living in one of MacIntyre’s residential services. Both ladies became involved in the Project because of their passion for dementia and their personal experiences, which for Rachel has meant sharing a story very close to her heart.
Rachel and Alison – Love
and friendship
One of the most powerful stories that has driven the Dementia Project is that of Rachel and Alison ­ two friends, flat­mates and soulmates. When Alison developed dementia in her mid­40’s, her staff team were determined she would remain where she was happiest – in her home, with her best friend.
Over the years Alison deteriorated, but the passion and commitment of her staff team to make her as comfortable as possible, and the dedication and love Rachel showed towards her friend, is something I personally have rarely seen.
Words cannot do their story justice, which is perhaps why this incredibly moving film was made:­8 The footage is all the more poignant now, given that Alison died in 2017 (following the award­ winning palliative care I mentioned earlier), but her legacy lives on through the staff at MacIntyre, her family, and also very much through Rachel’s continuing work with
the Project.
What’s next for the
Dementia Project?
The Dementia Project is due to formally end in October 2018, but MacIntyre’s ground­ breaking dementia work certainly won’t. All of the resources will remain available to MacIntyre staff, and many will also be available to the wider health and social care sector too.
Learning from MacIntyre
When I began working with MacIntyre, I was plunged into a world where being person­ centred was the norm, not an add on, where each person’s independence was maximised, and where every individual was involved in every aspect of their life as much as they could possibly be. This was a world of hope and achievement, not acceptance and disablement.
What I’ve learnt from MacIntyre about breaking down interactions through their 10 facilitation skills, their person­centred approaches, and their can­do attitude is something I take into all of my work with aged­care providers as the very finest example for their staff.
  Summary of key points:
• Put the people you support at the front and centre of your service – forget tokenistic involvement, embrace genuine collaboration.
• Social care is about more than ‘care’ – Support the person by working side-by-side with them, regardless of their age or abilities.
• Champion what the people you support can do and nurture those skills – reablement not disablement.
• A person is a person. A person is never a task.
• Celebrate individuality – It’s what makes working in care and support so special.
 How to get in touch.... Head Office address:
602 South Seventh Street Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire
Telephone: 01908 230100
Email: Website:
Beth Britton:
Email: Website:
  Dementia Project
At the start of 2018, Rosie and Rachel were employed by MacIntyre as Dementia Project Assistants. Not only is this rightful recognition of both Rosie and Rachel’s immense commitment and contribution to the Project, but it also serves
as a timely reminder to us all that when we’re looking to augment the knowledge and understanding of the health and social care workforce, there is nothing more impactful than hearing about the experiences of people being supported, and their ideas and viewpoints about how we direct services and create sustainable improvement.
Rosie and Rachel also prove there is no excuse for social care providers not to involve the people they support. Whilst Rosie and Rachel have learning disabilities, their disabilities don’t define them, nor are they holding them back. To see how Rosie and Rachel have developed into their roles, and discovered skills that have made them highly articulate, passionate public speakers, not to mention the fun and vibrancy they bring to every meeting they attend, is a joy that I hope many other professionals may experience and embrace in the future.
    & Rachel

   26   27   28   29   30