Every Little Helps!

An excellent example of how by using a one-page profile and a team profile this professional has been able to put the staff she is supporting at ease quickly when counselling them through difficult situations. As the ‘out of hours’ telephone contact for a social care organisation Mo found she needed a tool that would help her get to know staff on a personal level quickly and for them to feel comfortable and confident in her. Her story describes how she used one-page profiles to do this.

Mo HunstoneWritten By Mo Hunstone

My name is Mo Hunstone. I am 57 years old, Mother of two and Nanna to one. I live in the Salford area of Manchester but was born in the Peak District, Derbyshire; moving away many years ago when I got married. I have worked in Health and Social Care for over thirty years and feel that it is where I definitely belong!

I have seen many cultural changes in social care over the years but none of them have excited me more than ‘Personalisation’, which I believe helps people be fully in control and self direct their own lives!  I have worked for many years for Living Ambitions, based over in Salford and have seen the organisation transformed in the last three years due to our person-centred approaches and I’m incredibly proud to be part of something that genuinely puts person-centred practices at the heart of everything we do – not just for the people we support but, just as importantly, our entire workforce. Living Ambitions fully understands that in order for supporters to deliver person-centred support, they have to feel valued and engaged.

As the organisation developed across the whole of Lancashire, I became part of a wider management team and this is when I personally recognised the importance of team one-page profiles as it really helped me to get to know the managers in other regions whom I did not have day to day contact with. And thanks to our own team’s profile, they could really get to know me too.

When I became part of my organisation’s out of hour’s emergency on-call service (meaning I am required to offer guidance to members of our workforce in other regions to support them around charged and stressful situations), I found the one-page profile an invaluable tool. I recall how hard it was trying to support and be empathetic to staff who I didn’t know very well and who were in the middle of a crisis. I found this very difficult as I don’t like to be just a voice at the end of a phone.

To remedy this, I asked those staff in other regions to complete another person-centred thinking tool called “What’s Working/Not Working” around on-call support. This identified, from their side what needed to be in place for me to give them my best support and I did the same. The outcome was that I updated my own profile and shared it with the rest of the workforce and citizens – this along with other manager’s profiles is now with the on-call numbers so there is a familiar person at the end of the phone. I am now known as Mo, not the on-call manager.

I in turn have an IPad which I am able to access support staff and citizens’ profiles on so I can really know who I am offering advice too – particularly around incident debriefs and it’s the little things such as making reference to their children or interests or telling them to go and grab that coffee with two sugars (as identified on their profiles) – that act as great ice breakers and diffuses – really supporting people coming out of charged situations. Because of this, the people I work with have told me that they feel like I actually know and value them as individuals and that they are not alone in difficult situations. This in turn leads to great workforce engagement and really promotes our person-centred culture which underpins everything we do as an organisation – helping us to stay true to our primary purpose and core values. The little things might not sound much but as Tesco puts it, “Every little helps”!