Increasing support workers’ confidence to spot deterioration

Image shows care home resident talking to a member of staff

Mildred Mhlanga is a manager at Silva Care, which provides various care services across Bristol, including supported living, respite and outreach services. Silva Care’s support workers help service users with medical appointments, making referrals and signposting to relevant health professionals. Mildred felt a knowledge of NEWS2 could complement the skills of their support workers and their offer to service users. And so through the West of England Learning Disability Collaborative, Silva Care encouraged their support workers to sign up to our RESTORE2 training.

Here Mildred reflects on how the RESTORE2 training has helped increase her colleagues’ confidence in spotting deterioration and how they communicate this to healthcare professionals.

The training has enabled staff to check soft signs and seek appropriate medical attention before service users’  health declines. This can be extremely challenging when working with service users with a learning disability who may be unable to let you know how they are feeling, or service users’ whose pain threshold is very high as they self-harm for sensory purposes.

The training has also given staff the confidence to be able to communicate with health professionals in a concise way.

One point of feedback that struck me as very significant was one from our supported living placements in Stoke Gifford. The house has four service users, and they are the oldest service user group. RESTORE2 helped one service user who became unwell.

Gloria (name changed for confidentiality) had a slightly crackly chest, was very sleepy and the night before had been unsettled.

Staff checked her temperature and oxygen saturations and when they contacted the GP, they were able to give her this information and to receive intervention immediately. The GP prescribed antibiotics for Gloria, which meant she was able to be supported from home with staff who know her well, instead of going to hospital.

A week on, Gloria has made a full recovery and is grateful to have been allowed to be at home, especially during these difficult times.

The Senior at the supported living placement informed me that following the NEWS2 training, they purchased the equipment recommended, which was how they were able to record Gloria’s oxygen levels.

The training has really had a huge impact on how staff support service users in identifying health decline and seeking relevant medical help.

Do you support services in the West of England that could benefit from this training?

If so, you can sign up for free RESTORE2 training here.

Would you like to know more about the West of England Learning Disability Collaborative?

If so, visit our dedicated web pages.

Posted on August 4, 2020 by Mildred Mhlanga, Registered Manager, Silva Care

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