We no-longer fear change

A practical example of how teams and organisations can use one-page profiles to build cohesiveness, person-centred attitudes and a positive attitude towards change when going through periods of transformation.

Written by Tracey Chappell Merry Hill House

Tracey Chappell from Merry Hill House one-page profile

Tracey Chappell from Merry Hill House one-page profile

I work at Merry Hill House; a Local Authority care home for older people that is currently going through a period of transformation.  The Local Authority is introducing a rolling respite service and has put a hold on accepting new people to move in permanently.

This is a change for the people living at Merry Hill House, their families and the staff. It was decided that there needed to be support tools in place to assist people with this change. One-page profiles were introduced. The aim was to support staff through this transformation by empowering them as a team and developing their individual skills and confidence to help people living there to adapt too. The profiles would also help staff better understand the people they support and help managers with the recruitment of new staff that fit well with the overall team and our ethos.

We started with staff meetings and support from consultants Helen Sanderson Associates. We looked through our existing practices to identify what was working and what was not working.  We then developed a strategy to achieve change on a single sheet of paper – this is called a one-page strategy and it really helped us to focus on our goals and how we could achieve them.

The next phase was to identify one-page profile champions who could lead each staff team to develop their own profiles.  Once the staff had completed their profiles managers used the information they provided to fit them into positive and productive teams based by matching characteristics, personalities and interests.

Once all team members knew how to create one-page profiles and how to use them for best results, we were in a position to help the people that live at Merry Hill House create their own. This then enabled support staff to be matched to individuals based on commonalities.

We have since evolved further and actually create one-page profiles with people staying with us on a short or temporary basis so that we can provide them with the best possible care whilst they are with us. It also means we have excellent information to pass on to their future care provider or at-home assistance once they are discharged.

Since using one-page profiles staff have an appreciation and clearer understanding of how the people they support want to be supported and why our traditional roles and the culture of caring for needs had to change and develop. Together we have learnt that people don’t always want to be cared for but instead want to be involved and listened to when planning their support. There is now a strong feeling shared amongst staff of wanting to drive change forward because we are seeing the benefits for ourselves.

This is a big difference from the fear of change (and holding on to the security of how things were) that used to exist within the teams. Staff are sharing experiences and learning how to have different types of conversations with the people we support by focussing on what is important to that individual rather than focusing on tasks which need to be performed.

We have learned through conversation with the people that live at Merry Hill House, to consider how our attitudes and personalities are perceived by the people we support and what kind of impact this can have on their stay with us.

Staff have all taken the opportunity to reflect on their personal qualities and not just the skills they have and the work they do which has really helped us work more collaboratively and appreciate what each and every person brings to the team.

Overall our teams are working together better and the people we support have more choice and control in their lives. It feels like we have come really far and we are excited and enthusiastic about what lies ahead.