Our award-winning Peer Reviewers make a difference!
Community Integrated Care is proud to have launched an exciting project that makes the voices of the people they support the most important in the organisation.
The charity’s Peer Reviewer Pilot, a partnership with rights-based organisation Changing Our Lives, sees people supported become Peer Reviewers, paid employees whose job is to evaluate the standards of our services, as people who access support themselves.
The Pilot is part of our Personalisation Project – a major pillar of our organisational strategy, which charts Community Integrated Care’s journey to becoming the UK’s Leading Social Care Charity.
Next month, this Personalisation programme will be launched to our frontline staff, and instead of being led by senior leaders, the Peer Reviewers themselves will take to the stage during a series of roadshows to deliver powerful presentations on the organisation’s new direction.
This important role comes as no surprise, as in just a few months, the team’s work has made an immeasurable difference. In services throughout the country, rotas have been enhanced to suit changing needs, support plans have been improved – and most importantly, many people we support have been inspired by the empowered approach of their Peer Reviewers.
Their outstanding work has even seen them win a prestigious North East Care Award, and be shortlisted for the Personalisation Award at the Laing Buisson Specialist Care Awards – after just a short few months in post.
This exciting journey began almost a year ago, when our Quality team met with Changing Our Lives to discuss their ‘Quality of Life Standards’, launched by Norman Lamb MP, which outline the fundamental requirements for providers to be person-centred. Many positive actions were pledged, including the introduction of a team responsible for ensuring that the people they support were leading full and positive lives.
In May, Community Integrated Care held a recruitment drive for the people they support, to introduce the Pilot and discuss ambitions for its progress. This process concluded with six people supported by the charity beginning their vital roles within the organisation as experts by experience, and beginning a detailed training programme, on areas such as attitudes, values and public speaking.
In response to their immediate impact and passion for their new roles, our Peer Reviewers were invited to Westminster to present to Norman Lamb about their ambitions for the project – and it has since gone from strength to strength.
Heidi Neville who is employed as a Peer Reviewer in the Midlands, says: “I feel so proud to be part of this project, I’m really proud to have a job – I never thought I could achieve this and it makes me more determined to help others have a better quality of life too.”
“People have been amazed by my confidence and passion – I feel like I can tell people exactly what I want for my life in the future.”
Martin McGuigan, Community Integrated Care’s Director of Innovation, says: “This project is a marker of our plans to becoming a leading and modern provider, and our commitment to delivering services that are built around the people we support.”
“Our truly impressive Peer Reviewers have risen to this challenge with enthusiasm, and have told us what good looks like, and what isn’t good enough too. We have witnessed them grow in confidence, giving practical advice and empowering people to take control of their own support and the things that matter to them.”