For our 'Shine a spotlight on our Learning Disability, Autism, and Mental Health Team' campaign, one of our Clinical Leads, Ian, answers a few questions about his role and responsibilities and tells us a little about his healthcare experience.
What are your responsibilities as a Learning Disability, Autism and Mental Health Clinical Lead?
The roles and responsibilities of a Learning Disability, Autism and Mental Health Clinical Lead (CL) are very varied. I am involved in a care package even before Thornbury Community Services (TCS) begin to provide care to a client.
I am responsible for attending meetings with carers, health and social care professionals, family members and conducting a comprehensive initial assessment of the client’s needs to inform the package preparation process. This includes the development of the clinical documentation, which will guide our nurses and support workers when providing support and care to the client. It also ensures all the training and skills required for supporting the client are identified and then delivered in a training programme.
Once the client starts to receive care from us, I will work with them and the care team to establish a safe home environment the client can thrive within. I will also oversee the direct management of the care team members. This involves getting their feedback, observations and thoughts on the care package and then implementing these in combination with the information gathered through monthly clinical reviews to update the care plans, Positive Behaviour Support Plans and risk assessments to ensure our service delivery to the client evolves with their development and needs.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
A typical working day can include client visits, clinical reviews, leading care teams and providing them with direct support and management. As well as this, I may conduct candidate supervisions, clinical documentation reviews, meetings, behavioural data evaluation and intervention development.
As an CL, I am responsible for responding to clinical events and providing direct support to staff teams, candidate education and skill competency development. This would not all happen in one single day. However, the role is so varied, so you have to be ready for a very busy day.
When visiting a client's home, I always check on the client's general wellbeing and make sure they are happy and content with everything taking place in their home. I also ensure the nurses and support workers are given the support they need to deliver person-centred care to our clients.
As well as directly engaging with clients and staff teams within their home and community, I will observe how they interact with each other. I will assess their body language, facial expressions, tone of voice and activity engagement to establish a sense of the client’s “comfort” within our care and the confidence and competence of the staff team delivering this.
During visits, I will give feedback to the teams and individual workers, liaise with family members (if the care package is delivered within a family home) and may also engage in some ad hoc games with the client such as football or Hide and Seek!
How do you ensure the client’s needs are prioritised (both their personal and care needs)?
To ensure a person’s needs are prioritised, the service around that person needs to evolve and be tailored to the individual. This can only be done through effective observation, documentation and sharing of information that can be then used to evolve our care plans and approaches.
This gives us a solid foundation to build a person-centred care package. The interventions and approaches are what makes a care provision truly person-specific. It's the little things that can easily be overlooked or not documented but can make the difference between the client having a good or a challenging day.
What is your favourite thing about your role?
My entire nursing career has been focused on working in partnership with and supporting people diagnosed with learning disabilities and autism who can present additional challenges to the services and people who support them.
I love seeing how the TCS care team work together to improve an individual’s quality of life.
If you're interested in joining our team of healthcare professionals, register with us here and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.