The importance of being involved

An example of how using a theme for a one-page profile can help capture the imagination of the person producing it and those using it. This story shares how an avid football supporter is assisted to have a better understanding of his support team and them to him, by producing a one-page profile.

Written by Sarah Macey

Bob's one-page profile

Bob’s one-page profile

Bob is a 57 year-old man with an insatiable passion for football. A season ticket holder and an avid fan, Bob loves everything about Nottingham Forest FC. Bob has a learning disability and has lived in the same residential service for over 20 years.  He has an understanding of his needs and is able to verbalise his immediate desires, although bigger concepts are more challenging.

Over the years Bob has had several similar versions of the one-page profile.  These were usually initiated by new support staff wanting a simple, positive introduction to Bob’s personality without focusing on his disability. More recently the team felt that the one-page profile would assist Bob better if he had greater involvement in producing it. They felt strongly that Bob could and should help design it, which in turn would ensure that they were supporting him in the way that he wanted.

Bob is rarely interested in paperwork but immediately became interested in the profile when staff presented it in a football theme. This was the first step in encouraging his involvement and getting him to start to talk about what was important to him.

Bob used to live with his elderly parents.  Ever since moving into the residential service, Bob has struggled to comprehend the roles of support staff and the boundaries that exist, making references to ‘servants’ and ‘friends’. Using the one-page profile Bob made a correlation between his favourite football team and the support team in his service, this has helped in his understanding of roles significantly.  Bob was asked which role he would personally like to have; he chose to be the owner of the club.  The (staff) team are viewed as there to try their hardest for his club, whilst the manager’s role is to get the best out of the team and occasionally show a yellow or red card if a player (staff member) commits a foul.  Senior managers/auditors are described as fourth officials.

The new one-page profile has had an unexpected outcome for Bob. Because the football theme captured his imagination so well, it has led to him understanding the roles of everyone associated with his service, when before he did not.  Even more importantly for Bob, the profile has emphasised his passion for football.  Not only are the existing staff team more aware of this, but new staff members joining the service immediately know about the importance of Bob’s hobby across his whole life.

Having a one-page profile based on his favourite football club appeals hugely to Bob.  The familiar terms used have helped his understanding of how the staff team are structured and the roles held  by each person.  To staff, Bob is seen as a unique person with a significant social activity that helps to define his life.

Employees don’t fit into a cookie cutter profile

An example of how one-page profiles can improve employee satisfaction. Suzanne’s profile empowered her to express herself, her personality and how best to support her; creating a happier working environment that she feels she can perform well in.

Written by Suzanne Hala

Suzanne's one-page profile

Suzanne’s one-page profile

I am the Marketing and Communication Manager for Real Life Options and I have been with the organisation for over two years following a career in retail marketing. I’m currently studying for an MBA and enjoy running and being active in my spare time.

I use my one-page profile to tell people about important things to me, to make sure that I can be my best. I support various people around the organisation with their marketing projects. Some I have met on lots of occasions and some I only ever speak to on the phone, so it’s good to have a way to seamlessly add a personal touch to everyday interactions

I found out about one-page profiles from being part of the Leadership Team we formed to embed person-centred values into the organisation. Creating our own profiles was the first thing we did as a team. I had no prior expectations about how having a one-page profile might benefit me or others. The concept was very new to me, especially against a background of working in the private sector for manufacturing companies where figures, targets and finance are the only way success is measured. In retrospect it is clear to see how problems arise in organisations where people are not valued as individuals. The profiles do value individuality. They encourage you to record your own personality and to express how others can best support you. As well as finding the process personally very beneficial, it was a great team building exercise, especially when considering what we liked and admired about each other

My profile is available on the public drive on our computer system. Anyone can access it at any point to learn a little more about me. I update it when I learn something new about myself as opposed to updating it because I have changed in some way.

Having a one-page profile at work has made me feel more valued as a person. The one-page profile moves away from the old fashioned perception that employees should fit a cookie cutter profile. Being encouraged to express my quirks, strengths and preferences gives me a sense of feeling important and appreciated as an employee. It makes complete sense as most people are happiest and perform at their best when they are in an environment where they feel able to express themselves and empowered.

A view of the world from a different perspective

Philip's one-page profile

Philip’s one-page profile

An excellent example of how one-page profiles can empower people to achieve their goals. Philip is Autistic and has his own unique perspective on life. With the help of his one-page profile he has been able to do things that had previously worried him and is one step closer to fulfilling his life ambition; being famous!

Written by Suzanne

Philip is 26 years old. He is very witty, chatty and his biggest goal in life is to be famous! Philip is very likeable and he has an army of supporters and admirers. He makes a lasting impression on everyone he meets.

Part of his fantastic character is the fact Philip has Autistic Spectrum Disorder. His view of the world is very different to a lot of people. Philip has helped us appreciate the diversity of looking at and interpreting the world. There is no correct way to perceive our environment however, there are many ways to see the same thing and each of them may be correct if seen from the right perspective. This is what Philip does; he gives us his perspective of how he sees life.

In 2012 one of Philips greatest personal achievements was going to the Supermarket. This took a lot of planning with Philip who initiated the trip by saying that he wanted to go shopping and that if we got him a wheelchair he would go. The wheelchair makes him feel safe even though he has no physical disabilities; Philip is terrified of strangers, people and community life.

We researched several Supermarkets and approached them with Philip’s consent explaining the situation, discussing different types of wheelchairs they provide and the best times to access them. Sainsbury’s at Bishop Aukland were very helpful. We took Philip and checked out different wheelchair options. We also gave Sainsbury’s Philips one-page profile with his consent. His profile has all the important information about Philip, what is important to him, what people like and admire about him and how best to support him. This helped people at Sainsbury’s get a picture of Philip before meeting him so they had a good understanding of who he is. They all read and appreciated the information and I believe it helped them gain a deeper understanding before meeting Philip in person which undoubtedly improved his experience.

Philip goes shopping now every Tuesday. He has had his picture in the Northern Echo and a story about this achievement. He is more comfortable around people and has built a circle of friends from staff who work there. We also used the one-page profile when Philip wanted to go Horse riding. It is a good “ice Breaker” and Philip loves the fact that people know him before he has met them and it makes him less anxious. He is trying new things now and feels more confident that “the world is ready for Him”

Before producing his one-page profile, Philip only went to the moors or places where there are very few people. I can safely say that it has changed his life and he is more involved and having more new experiences than ever before.

Finding dad’s voice after his stroke

A powerful example of how a one-page profile can help someone who has suffered an acute stroke to communicate how best to support him as well as helping his daughter advocate on his behalf.

Written by John’s daughter, Lisa Orme

chipMy dad, always known as ‘Chip’ was 65 when he suffered an acute stroke. It was in April 2012 and he experienced a massive bleed on the right side of his brain. He was admitted to the Derby Royal Hospital. It was one of the most fearful days of my whole life. I knew then that things were going to change forever. What I didn’t know, was that we were about to embark on a person-centred journey and that I was no longer just going to be his daughter, I was going to need to be his advocate too.

Dad lost his voice, his normal bodily functions and his pride that day. The first 24 hours were the hardest. Dad could only nod or shake his head and it was down to me to interpret this and advise the nursing team on his behalf. It was heart breaking and frustrating but I had a coping mechanism. I knew about person-centred thinking and used my understanding of him and the tools I’d learnt to advise the nursing team how best to support him. This was particularly important because I couldn’t be there all the time and it was essential that they were still acting on his wishes without me there to advocate them.

Every day in hospital highlighted another challenge for us. I sat with dad talking through his communication and decision making approaches identifying with him what he understood and what he wanted to share. He was able to nod or shake his head enabling me to capture his thoughts into his one-page profile. Once it was completed I shared this with the immediate nursing team. Every day I reviewed the one-page profile with Dad and my Sister to ensure we added new information gathered from his rehabilitation handovers.

I placed Dad’s profile laminated by the side of his bed as well as giving it to sit alongside his care plan. Nursing staff began asking me about our approaches and quickly recognised what was important to dad. Importantly they recognised when he chose not to engage with them as this remained in his control.

Helping dad to remain in control of his situation was my priority. His profile enabled this to happen. Chips connection to his family and the nursing team was so important in the seven weeks he was on the ward. Relationships were developed as the nursing team read and understood more about him from his profile. They learnt to engage with him using the information to promote conversations, laugh, joke, make him smile when he was having a bad day.

Despite his stroke dad was making choices and had capacity. Staff understood what made him more settled and more importantly they understood how he wanted to be supported. The one-page profile quickly progressed and became more detailed ensuring the right decisions were made when agreeing his continuing health care funding for his future nursing care.

Dad was going into a home in the centre of Derby. It was near to his friends and the places he grew up. I felt satisfied that dad would be happy there and made sure I shared pictures and information about the home with him to help him prepare. Sharing dad’s one-page profile with the nursing manager really helped me to engage with the assessment and referral process. It meant that I could clearly say what his needs were and ensure that they had the capacity to support him in the way he wanted to be supported.

Dad’s stroke had been incredibly sad for the whole family but throughout the journey I have been able to support him and help him to communicate by using the person-centred thinking tools. The nursing team briefly knew Chip. To me he will always be dad.