Hightown Housing Association has a strong focus on sharing best practice as this benefits staff and service users. This approach is one way for staff to improve quality and standards. In addition, it ensures better outcomes for service users and their families.

One of Hightown's Operations managers, Claire Dallow, shares how she and her team successfully supported a service user to move to a new supported living service.

Before the social distancing measures were announced, Claire Dallow, Operations manager, and her team in Bracknell went above and beyond to help a service user move home. This was a new experience for the team, but they took on the task and learned a great deal throughout the process.

“Moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do. When you have a learning disability, changes to your environment can have a huge impact, so as care and support staff we try to minimise the level of impact a service user will encounter. We recently supported a service user with profound learning disabilities to move after we identified that he would be better suited living on his own.

“To ensure the move was successful, we worked with various stakeholders such as a financial deputy (appointed by the court to manage service user finances), social worker, occupational therapist, and the service user’s family. We went through several processes to accommodate the move and help the service user settle into his new home.”

Here are my top five tips for a successful move:

  1. View the potential new property with the service user and their family and identify things that need to be in place before they move in.
  2. Request an occupational therapist assessment of the property to ensure all physical and environmental needs are considered.
  3. Arrange for the service user to visit their new home a couple of times before moving in. This will allow them to become familiar with their new environment.
  4. Help prepare service users to move. For example, arrange a removal van and help them pack their belongings. This will eliminate any stress the service user might experience.
  5. Keep service users families informed throughout the move.

The service user’s family were pleased with how smoothly the move went and said:

“We are happy and amazed at how smooth the moving process was. We can’t thank the staff enough for their help and ensuring that Mark became familiar with his new home before moving in. They went above and beyond to help him settle in.”

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Claire Dallow