Peer Reviewers Take The Lead – Watch Our Exclusive Videos!
People supported by Community Integrated Care have been appointed to the most important roles in our organisation, by becoming Peer Assessors who review the quality of service we deliver. This exciting project has been delivered in partnership with rights-based organisation Changing our Lives.
Our Peer Reviewer Pilot sees people supported by our charity become paid employees of our charity, whose job it is to critically evaluate the standards of our services, as experts by experience. It comes as part of our Personalisation Project, a major strategic commitment to embed the best person-centred practices in our services.
Starting Our Journey
In February this year, Siraaj and Jane from Changing our Lives visited Community Integrated Care, to discuss their ‘Quality of Life Standards’, launched by Norman Lamb MP and written by over 650 young people and adults with learning disabilities and autism, alongside their peers with disabilities. These standards outline the fundamental things all care providers should be doing, if they are to be truly person-centred.
Following this workshop, the duo gave a thought-provoking presentation to our senior leadership team, at our Strategy Update event in April, where local management teams pledged action on how they could use the Quality of Life Standards in their own services.
In response to the many positive actions that were pledged and actioned, Community Integrated Care were welcomed to Westminster to present to Norman Lamb on our plans to further implement the standards by launching our Peer Reviewer Pilot.
Our Peers Progress
Our partnership took an exciting turn in May, when we kicked off the Pilot with a recruitment drive for the people we support, introducing them to our work with Changing Our Lives. This began with those interested in becoming Peer Reviewers coming together to discuss their ambitions for the project, as well as talking about what makes a both good and bad support.
Following these meetings and workshops, six people began their important paid roles within our charity. The team have now been through a detailed training programme, which includes learning more about attitudes and values, as well as using role-plays and scenario work to support them with confidence-building and public speaking. This has equipped the team with the expertise and knowledge that their role is one of the most important in our organisation, and that they have our full support.
In their short time in post, the team have wasted no time in critically reviewing services, giving practical advice on how these should be made more personalised; as well as taking part in formal training for Service Leaders and Regional Managers. The impact has been incredible – rotas have been enhanced to suit changing needs, support plans have been improved, and they have inspired many more people to learn from their empowered approach.
Incredibly, after a matter of months, the project has been shortlisted for the ‘Personalisation Award’ at the Great North East Care Awards; one of the UK’s most prestigious care sector accolades.
Following this success, Community Integrated Care are planning on expanding this project further, by training and developing more peer assessors across our organisation.
A Lasting Partnership
Heidi Neville, one of Community Integrated Care’s Leicester-based Peer Reviewers, 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 exciting and truly pioneering project has enabled our Peer Reviewers to really contribute their expertise as key partners in this organisation.
They have risen to the challenge with enthusiasm, and proven that they can speak up to tell us what good looks like, and what isn’t good enough too. We have not only seen the Peer Reviewers grow in confidence, but also witnessed a transformation in the staff teams they work with, who recognise more than ever that the people we support should be in control of their lives.”