In October 2015 NHS England published a national plan for transforming care and services for people with a learning disability, autism spectrum disorder or both. The Transforming Care Partnership programme is helping to deliver the aspirations set out in Building the Right Support on the ground.
Sean Martin, aged 26, is one of a growing band of people who are finding that helping to provide personalised care and support for someone who has a learning disability, autism spectrum disorder or both can be a really rewarding career choice. He is now supporting Peter who had previously spent 40 years in and out of hospital, as his Personal Assistant. Sean was recruited in March 2016 and although he had no prior experience, managers at Stanley Grange in Preston have been impressed with how he has developed in to the role. Stanley Grange provides supported living, nursing residential and specialist services as part of the Future Directions Community Interest Company (CIC).
Peter was involved in interviewing Sean and a key part of their developing relationship has been a realisation that they are both learning something new together. Sean sees his role as helping Peter to build a new life.
Sean was given a three week intensive training programme before he started his role full-time and has since taken further courses. He is now working towards an NVQ Level 3 qualification. Since starting his new career, he has recommended it to his friends and family; and as a result his mum has also joined the team at Stanley Grange.
He believes that one of the biggest changes for Peter has been a realisation that he now has choices about his life. Everything is organised around Peter’s preferences, from when he wants to eat, to where he wants to go out. It’s taken a while for Peter to realise that he now has freedom and he was clearly anxious at the start. However building up a relationship and trust has been key to the improvements in quality of life that Peter now experiences. Sean believes that he and Peter are now a team, who can work together to overcome any challenges.