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Transforming a young person’s life

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Fred Grand is NHS England’s Regional Housing Lead for the North East & North Cumbria, and is responsible for the housing workstream of the Learning Disabilities and Autism Programme in his area. He has been involved in the development of supported living for almost 20 years, and was previously a local authority commissioner. In his guest blog, he talks about his involvement in the housing of one of our tenants in Durham as part of the Transforming Care Programme.

“The Reside tenant I have been involved in resettling into the community was a young teenager at the time of his admission to hospital. He had been admitted following a series of failed placements at specialist residential services for children, and on admission to hospital his challenging behaviors, which included attacks on staff, led to a lengthy period of seclusion in a segregated ward with a locked door. Communications with staff were carried out using an intercom, and this became his daily reality for almost three years.

We were very fortunate that his resettlement team included some ambitious commissioners who wanted to explore supported living options. Capital funding linked to NHSE’s “Transforming Care” programme enabled us to consider developing a bespoke home in the community, and by bringing together Reside’s housing expertise and specialised support services from Orbis Support we managed to turn the plans into reality.

Reside is one of a small but important number of specialist housing providers who regularly work with NHSE capital. We have collaborated on several projects in the North East and elsewhere, and Reside’s values base made it an excellent partner for this project. Orbis Support, a small but very specialist local provider, got to know the young person while he was still in hospital. He was placed at the centre of every decision during the post-discharge planning process, and it quickly became clear that the project could succeed.

I co-ordinated weekly project meetings involving Reside, the commissioners and Orbis, and throughout the process we were all amazed by the young man’s rapid progress. Meetings continued until the tenant had settled into his new home, and he has now been out of hospital for almost 18 months.

Having his own unique home with the right support has completely changed his life. The young man has reconnected with his parents and grandparents, and he regularly goes out into the community to enjoy a range of hobbies and interests. All of his communications with support staff are face-to-face, and the barriers and restrictions which were in place in hospital have been removed. This has been one of the most transformational changes I’ve witnessed during my career, and on a personal and professional level it has been extremely satisfying.”

If you want to find out more about Reside’s tenants, you can read their stories here

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