John, aged 57, moved into his newly refurbished flat within the Crofton Court Scheme in June 2020. His first impressions of the scheme were that it was a nice building within a nice area and the staff were very welcoming. John says that the site manager, James Skelly, completed the move in induction with him and this went very smoothly.
Prior to his move in, John had lived within a secure unit within Lynfield Mount Hospital for approximately 18 years. He said that he had been prepared to move into his flat and something more independent through a step-by-step transition, which he explained was a good process, particularly for his personal wellbeing and needs.
John has a mental health diagnosis of Schizophrenia, which is managed through medication, (Clozapine) as well as through a multi-disciplinary team, working together to monitor his wellbeing and support him to live within the community. The team includes a Care Coordinator from the Community Mental Health Team, Moorlands View; Lynfield Mount Transition Team, a Consultant Psychiatrist, his local GP, an Impact Living Housing Key Worker and Impact Living Extra Care Team.
Due to John’s complex accommodation and health needs, he was referred to Impact by the Community Mental Health Team. He was assessed by Impact’s Operations Manager, Mark Mitchell and his tenancy and person-centred support package proposed to the panel (John’s Care Coordinator, the Commissioning Team through the Supported Living Framework, Impact’s Intensive Housing Manager and the Extra Care Team Leader).
John’s supported accommodation and extra care package comprises 3 aspects, which work in conjunction with each other, these include:
- An Assured Shorthold Tenancy with Intensive Housing Management, including:
- Refurbished and furnished, self-contained 1 bedroom apartment with an open plan living room and modern fitted kitchen.
- On-site housing manager.
- 24/7 CCTV Security.
- Access to an in-house maintenance and repairs team.
- Access to an in-house finance and welfare benefits advisor.
- Care Support and Supervision to enable him to maintain his tenancy, including:
- Support setting up utilities.
- Support to manage and monitor budget plan.
- Monitoring health and wellbeing needs; providing advice and guidance where needed, including healthy eating. recommendations, meal planning and preparing shopping lists.
- Safeguarding advice and guidance.
- Assistance applying for welfare benefits such as Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
- Property checks to ensure his flat is safe and all utilities and appliances work well.
- Assistance reporting any faults or repairs to the housing manager.
- Assisting arranging, attending and following up with various appointments.
- Extra Care to enable him to manage his mental health in conjunction with his physical health and wellbeing needs, including:
- Daily wellbeing checks (morning, evening and weekends).
- Assistance with shopping for food and essential household items.
- Positive relationship building.
- A weekly activity of John’s choice to help rehabilitate him back into the community .
John has had a unique experience rehabilitating into his new home, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and his underlying health conditions, making him particularly vulnerable toward the virus. In 2016, John had been diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma, “a Cancer of the lymphatic system which develops when the body makes abnormal B lymphocytes. These lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that normally helps us fight infections. When you have a lymphoma, the abnormal lymphocytes build up in the lymph nodes or other body organs.” Cancer Research UK, 24, Nov 2020.
John had undergone Chemotherapy treatment and is now in remission, receiving regular health checks through the Haematologist team at Pinderfields Hospital. Although John is in remission, due to his risk of having a lower immune system and the risk of contracting the Covid-19, he was advised he must ‘Shield.’
With this in mind, the delivery of his extra care and support was reviewed and adaptions made to ensure he was able to continue receiving support safely as well as his basic living needs being met.
This included ensuring the support team strictly followed the Covid-19 regulations; wearing the correct PPE, social distancing and following hygiene guidance.
During his period of shielding, John needed additional support with his shopping. The Impact support team helped John by enabling him to order his shopping online on a weekly basis and a member of the support team would use the Click and Collect service to ensure John had plenty of supplies.
John has also been diagnosed as borderline Diabetic so while assisting with his online shopping, his support worker has suggested healthier alternatives to some of his regular items, enabling him to lower his sugar content.
John was also referred to a mobile Personal Trainer to increase his physical activity and exercise from home.
While spending more time at home, to keep entertained, his support worker recommended various You Tube videos that John would appreciate.
John has now had both of his Covid-19 Vaccinations and as restrictions have gradually been lifted and safety measures put in place, John has been able to get out into the community a little more, which he is very pleased about!
John enjoys regular walks in the local park with the staff from Lynfield Mount Hospital on a weekend and his support worker has shown him around Shipley as well as printed and explained the bus timetable to prepare him for using public transport.
Financially, his support worker has helped John to apply for Personal Independent Payments as well as helped him to budget plan, including researching discounted household items he was in need of.
John has said although he has been shielding, he doesn’t feel isolated in the community as he has a team of support around him and the wellbeing checks as well as onsite support office reassures him that he has someone he can talk to anytime, every day. John says “I see a member of the support team at least twice a day every day without fail, and I know I’m not going to be left alone.”
In recent weeks, John has made huge progress, he has been able to go to the shop and complete his shopping alone, the support staff monitor and encourage John.
He has a good relationship with his sister and was thrilled that she was able to visit him in his new home, which she was very impressed with.
John has said that once lockdown is complete, he is looking forward to venturing out on more walks and visiting local museums, going to the Cinema, restaurants, coffee shops, retail shopping and exploring new places.
He also loves Football and supports Bradford City so is also hoping to buy a season ticket!
I asked John what he feels he has achieved since moving into Impact, he said “I have reintegrated back into society, coped well with the challenges and overcome anxieties that I had about moving back into the community, taking small steps”.
At the moment, John attends weekly appointments with the Community Mental Health Team, the reduction of this will be reviewed regularly and he aims to continue to build structure and a routine every day within Impact to keep making progress.
John says that “Impact is a good service, staff are caring, supportive, professional and lovely”
We look forward to seeing John’s progression over the coming months!