Shannon created Love Notes. I received my first Love Note from my friend and colleague Eric, at a retreat. The Love Note wished me luck with Wellbeing Teams. In August I met the Shannon in person. She is the Love Note Writer, a vibrant innovator creating public displays of affection and a fresh way to think about compassion in life and work. The Love Note that she sent me after that is on my mirror in the bedroom, it means a lot. For me, Love Notes are a practical example of compassion in action, so I asked Shannon to join our blog series about compassion at work. This is her story.
Last week I learned that you cannot podcast under a tree in the wind. I was very disappointed when I tried to edit it to the sound of gale force winds and tinny voices in the background. There was just enough sound to create a blog from it, so with apologies to Katie, Andy, and Sangeetha, here are your words rather than you voices. This blog describes how we are starting to introduce a Wellbeing Team into a GP Practice.
“What would Wellbeing Teams and self-management look like in mental health?”
Carey Bamber is my asked me to think about this, and to share ideas through a webinar. Carey is the Policy Adviser and Member Support with the Association of Mental Health Providers. A couple of months later we were sat together in my office managing technical challenges in delivering a webinar on the subject. I shared how Wellbeing Teams were working to support older people at home, and we talked about some potential implications for mental health support.
I am learning about new models and ways to deliver support to people at home. Over the last few weeks I have been learning about co-operatives and employee ownership and what this could mean for Wellbeing Teams. Wellbeing Teams are a social enterprise, which is a “business that has primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners”.
This week I am looking at community ownership and community businesses, so naturally the first place I looked was Power to Change’s website. The website says that there are four features to a community business. They are locally rooted, trading for the benefit of the community, accountable to the community, and have broad community impact. Here are some ways that I can see how these could apply to Wellbeing Teams.
Yesterday I met with colleagues from Macmillann, to share how Wellbeing Teams are working, and what could be possible in relation to people experiencing cancer. I am excited that the next two Wellbeing Teams are getting started within GP practices. We think there are five ways that Community Circles and Wellbeing Teams can support people to come home from hospital or to avoid hospital admission. Here is a summary of the approaches, and what we have tried so far.
This morning I read ‘How we can start a social care revolution in seven easy steps’ by Katie Johnson, KPMG, in the Guardian Social Care Network. I agree with her ideas, but not that it is easy. If it was easy, it would have been done by now. I am one of the many, many people who want to see this change, and be part of this change. Here I want to share what I am see my colleagues doing to actually move towards the steps she describes. I want to call out the people who are making it happen, and what else we need – some of the detail to deliver the big ideas.
On Friday I had a deadline and a challenge. Could we describe what we are trying to achieve with Wellbeing Teams in just 250 words following a set format of questions? We were applying for the Dragons Den equivalent of social innovation, for a Global Innovation conference at Yale University. Here is version 12.
It seemed like a great way to get my thoughts organised, and inspired me to do my own. I love planning for a new year, and I liked how she balanced work with other areas in her life. Because I love my work so much I need to have an equally strong focus and intention on other areas of my life, so creating a mind map that covers all areas of my life felt right for me. I also wanted to make sure that I was paying attention to my overall wellbeing, so I used the Five Ways to Wellbeing to structure this.
Watch the video below or read the rest of the post to see what came out of this exercise as my areas of focus for 2017.
I chose to explore three work areas as my focus for 2017.
My biggest priority is moving forward with Wellbeing Teams, my new model for living well at home.
We have four getting started at the beginning of the year, across Devon, Doncaster and Dumfries (two teams). By the end of 2017, I want to have learned from these and extended the number to at least 10 teams. Our fabulous partners in Devon, Love2Care, want to get to 12 teams by the end of the year as well, and if they achieve that (and I am confident they will!), this alone would take the total to 16. We have teams starting in Scotland and England, and it would be brilliant to have teams in Wales too.
The numbers matter because my aspiration is to demonstrate that Wellbeing Teams can happen at scale across the UK. Demonstrating a different way of supporting people at home is key, but making an impact nationally is really important to me too, so we can show that it is possible to improve more people’s lives, more of the time. I am looking at social franchising as a possible way to do this.
We are just waiting for the final sign-off on an opportunity to work with patients and staff across several hospitals in one area, as the lead organisation for improving the patient and staff experience.
We will be working to make sure that both patients and staff feel known as individuals and that their voices are listened to, through embedding one-page profiles and Working Together for Change. This is a great opportunity to build on the work we have been doing in two hospitals in 2016.
I was delighted that our work with Landermeads Care Home was cited by CQC in their report that rated them as Outstanding. It said “the provider had worked with an internationally-renowned external service to produce one-page profiles for both people who use the service and staff. People who use the service, relatives and staff we spoke with told us they found the profiles helpful.”
In 2017 I want to build on this with Ros and her team, and see if we can take some of the concepts from self-managed Wellbeing Teams into a care home environment. I am also working with a leading thinker in dementia care to develop a new way of supporting other registered managers in care homes to keep developing and improving how they support people and staff.
Using the Five Ways to Wellbeing in my mind map helped me to move into 2017 thinking about how to do more of what matters to me, and what I need to do to stay healthy and well. Here are some examples of what I want to do:
My Dad died when I was 21 and I always wanted to know more about his life, and have a record of this to share with my children.
I spent Christmas with my ‘big family’, my mum and sisters and our families. We are going to work on capturing Mum and Dad’s life histories this year, and some of our own as well, as a family project.
I love learning, and last year I started two courses that I did not finish and want to go back and complete them this year – podcasting and Theory U. I am also halfway through e-learning on Compassionate Communication too, which I find really useful both for my personal and professional lives.
I have been reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s book ‘Savor – Mindful Eating, Mindful Life’. This year instead of my usual resolution to eat and drink less, I am going to try to eat and drink mindfully.
I started Parkruns this year – 5k runs that take place at local parks every Saturday morning. I want to go from doing them on an ad-hoc basis to including them as part of my typical week. I did well with my yoga practice in 2016, but this dropped off in November, so getting back to weekly yoga is important to me this year too.
I volunteer through Community Circles, both as a Community Circle facilitator, and chair of the trustees. I want to help the organisation to scale up – for us to build internationally and to find funding for over 20 Connectors in the UK in 2017. If you’re looking for a way to contribute in 2017, get in touch – we are always looking to hear from people who would like to join us!
It’s exciting to have ideas about what I want to experience, achieve, and new habits to build, but staying focused right through to December 2017 is much more of a challenge for me. Over the last year I have updated a ‘Now page‘ on my blog site, that describes what I am currently doing or working on. I will post a monthly update on my Now page sharing how I am getting on. Going public with the areas I want to focus on makes me feel more committed and determined, and a bit vulnerable too. I hope that your plans for 2017 are exciting, and that we can stick at them together!
Carol works in the care sector visiting clients in their own homes for which she receives the National Minimum Wage and 7p a mile mileage. She has been doing it for three years, but says she is increasingly thinking of leaving because in her view the industry is getting worse. She says that the central frustration in her working life is not the pay, but that her employer schedules three half-hour visits every hour, meaning she is constantly late for each appointment and feels that she is short-changing the clients. This blog describes how Wellbeing Teams are trying to change Carol’s experience.
Last week Community Integrated Care won best care home at the National Dementia Awards for their specialist home, EachStep Blackburn.
We have been partners with EachStep since before it opened; both through our work integrating Community Circles, and with our Associate Gill Bailey spending a day each week there to coach and support staff to implement person-centred practices. You can learn more about the partnership in this short film clip.
This great news has given us an appropriate point to reflect on our journey, and I’d like to share three reasons why I think EachStep is a real winner.