I came into this role hoping to help to make a difference to others. My Twitter profile states that you should “be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody”; something I genuinely believe in.
I’m sure anyone who knows me would say that “Tracy loves anything to do with leadership, she loves all that fluffy stuff” and they would be absolutely right. But, I’m glad to say that more and more people out there quite like the taste, the need and the success of ‘fluffy’.
North Lanarkshire is saturated with many wonderful stories of success, the problem is that staff however are not always great at blowing their own trumpet; they typically say “But that’s just what we do” or “it’s my job”. One care home had a resident with mental health issues and challenging behavior, he was quite unstable and sadly unhappy. He had always talked about owning a pet and so the care home manager and staff decided to take a SAFE RISK and arrange for ‘Gordy’; a bearded dragon to come and live with the resident. Self-harming incidents have significantly reduced for this man and the staff can work with him in a far more manageable way.
A local frontline worker who was on nightshift when a resident took ill managed to stop a hospital admission being arranged by the GP – the lady had an anticipatory care plan (ACP) in place which stated very clearly she wished to remain at home, to die around loved ones and staff who knew her and how she liked to live. The worker used her AUTONOMY and SELF LEADERSHIP to achieve the desired outcome. I could go on and on, there are literally no shortage of examples of amazing things and great practice happening here in North Lanarkshire.
Last year I went to a workshop run by the amazing IRISS which was called ‘THE BIG IDEA’ and oh my word that’s exactly what it has turned into. They wanted a local partnership to work with, on any chosen project, in the new integrated world. Obviously I wanted this to be North Lanarkshire and 10 months later we are slap bang in the middle of an experience based co-design programme or as we call it EBCD. Developed by Bate and Robert it’s a methodology for working with groups of people who access support or care and the staff who provide this to improve services.
We have partners from all sectors, NHS Local Authority and social work involved in a project that is looking at the experience of going to Monklands A&E Department if you are a frequent attender who arrives in DISTRESS but not needing clinical attention. Such a worthwhile project and even today I met another provider who wants to be involved at the co-design stage.
There are so many examples of great projects locally which show innovation and great passion.
North Lanarkshire frontline staff in the independent care sector are creative and innovative and I have no doubt will continue to go from strength to strength if this work continues at both local and national level. These are exciting times for the sector!
Tracy Viljoen, Development Officer for North Lanarkshire