What does quality mean to the people we support?
Livability are launching a new group to listen to people in our Adult Services as they examine and discuss the support they receive. Made up of people Livability supports, and facilitated by the Quality team, the group will discuss and make decisions about topics that are important to them. In the words of one person supported in the south east, quality is: ‘When we’re respected and looked after properly. The Quality team come to talk to us about things that matter.’
It is hoped the group will contribute to wider debates on social care policy, such as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Commission for Reimagining Care. The views of the group will be shared with Livability’s Board of Trustees, and Forum representatives will be invited to meet trustees and the executive leadership team regularly, so that the Livability’s work is strengthened by the voices of people most directly affected.
Around thirty people have been nominated by their peers to be representatives in the Forum. One of these is Debbie, who will represent the people who live at Livability Martello Road, Eastbourne, where she has lived for 12 years.
What are you looking forward to about the forum meetings?
I like meeting new people, so the forum is a good chance to see and hear people in different homes across Livability.
Why is it important to talk about the quality of care we receive?
Where I live staff help us with the things we cannot do ourselves, and support us to do the things we can do for ourselves, like our cleaning, help with food shopping and house shopping. It’s good to talk about the support we receive and find out about what support other people receive too.
What skills do you hope to gain from being a member?
One of the ground rules we decided was ‘don’t interrupt people’, and I interrupt people a lot so I want to learn to do listening well. I’m a bit deaf sometimes so I need to ask people to say things again if I didn’t understand, and I need to say things so that people can understand me.
What are the particular strengths you bring to the group?
I love meeting new people and I’m good at making new friends. For thirteen years I have volunteered for St John’s Ambulance doing first aid, and from this I know that I care about other people and I like finding out about their lives, what is important to them.
Co-production in focus
The launch of the Quality forum is part of Livability’s strategy for co-production, so that people are actively participating in decisions that affect them. Speaking about the Quality Forum, Liz Salmon, Livability’s Head of Quality and Co-production, said:
‘Listening to and involving the people who matter, the people we support, is crucial to everything we do at Livability. I am delighted that we are holding our first forum meeting and look forward to meeting everyone. We want to hear about people’s first-hand experience of the support we provide and the things that are important to the people we support. I know these invaluable insights and views will drive our commitment to co-production and support continuous improvement in so many areas of our work – in people’s own lives, where they live, across Livability and in local communities.’
The Quality Forum launches with a social on Zoom on 10 November. Members will meet each other and set the agenda for future meetings.