For Learning at Work Week, we’re sharing a story on our Care & Supported Housing staff improving their learning and how it has had a real impact on one of our service users lives.

Ashley Drive in High Wycombe is a purpose-built home with staff providing care and support for six adults with profound learning and physical disabilities.

One of the service users has Retts syndrome, a learning disability, epilepsy, and received all nutrition and medication via a balloon gastrostomy tube. She had difficulty eating through a tube which meant that she was losing weight and at one stage weighed just five and a half stone.

After consulting her mother, Mo Eke (the manager at Ashley Drive) and staff invite a speech and language therapist and a Dietician to attend a review of her eating and drinking. After the assessment, a new gastrostomy tube feeding routine was put in place for eating orally at lunch time. Staff were advised on the best type of food for her to eat and how to use thickener in the fluids she takes orally.

Staff meticulously implemented all advise from the speech and language therapist and Dietician and continued to review her eating and drinking, including taking medication orally.

Her routine has now changed since she started taking her medication and food orally. She now gets up earlier, remains active all day and engages with staff which has meant they have got to know her personality. She is also able to go out regularly for lunch and dinner, visiting parks and cafes without the restrictions of eating through a tube.

Her mother said:

“My daughter was five and a half stone and now she’s nine stone. It’s a delight to see her eating again. I think her quality of life is better and she’s got a more normal life. People with Rhett’s Syndrome and epilepsy don’t normally go from PEG feeding back to solid food. We’re defying the prognosis!”

It has been a great example of how dedicated staff continuously looking to improve the way they work and taking advice from experts can have a huge impact on the quality of life of our service users.