What is this project about?
The project aims to develop a seamless model of learning disability services based on what matters to the individual. The project will achieve this through better integration across health and social care and the third sector. This will ensure that people with learning disabilities are able to live more independently and get the care they need closer to home. The project aims to embed the North Wales Learning Disability Strategy 2018-2023 that was recently agreed by all six North Wales Authorities and the BCUHB. Co-production will be at the heart of the way we work as we aim to support sustainable long term change.
Meet the team!
The project team have all be recruited and all team members will be in place by the middle of May 2019. The team is made up of people with a diverse range of backgrounds in both operational learning disability services and commissioning as well as project management, third sector, health and HR backgrounds. Kathryn Whitfield heads up the team as Programme Manager. Planning around the work streams has been initiated with team members identified to lead or co-lead in particular areas. Discussions have taken place with the statutory partners to identify which area will lead on specific projects related to each of the five work streams.
Where can you find us?
The team is based from Flintshire County Councils offices in Ewloe, however the nature of the work will mean that team members will be out and about across North Wales, hot desking in local area offices and linking with relevant stakeholders such as the third sector, health, participation groups and so on.
We are a very agile team, happy to meet with interested parties wherever is best for them.
Updates so far
As part of the 18-19 budget spend, £5,000 has been made available to each of the Local Authority Area Voluntary Councils and the county link officers will be working with them to distribute grants in line with the aims of the strategy. £6,000 was also made available to the BCUHB to fund IPAD’s to enable better communication with hospital wards and liaison staff allowing them to be notified immediately for hospital admissions for people with learning disabilities. The remainder of the BCHUB grant will be used to support improvements to health checks.
The team are working on the work packages and are in the process of developing a detailed project plan, which will be shared with and signed off by partners by early June.
There have been two strategy planning days initiated by local areas and team members are attending as many meetings as they can in bid to identify priorities.
In order to comply with Welsh Government transformation funding, the project will need to be professionally evaluated considering health and social care outcome improvement and enhanced health care value and affordable service delivery. The appointed organisation to deliver this is IPC Oxford Brookes who we look forward to working with in the near future.
The team are busy planning the launch of the project which will take place on 14 June 2019. This will be an exciting day where we will have the opportunity to share best practice and discuss how we will take the work streams forward. All interested parties are very welcome to attend and participate in a number of workshops running throughout the day.
As we pull together our communication strategy, we will be utilising websites and social media to publicise progress and share materials of interest as well as regular bulletins.
A bit about the team…..
Liana Duffy, Community and Culture Change Work-stream
I’ve spent almost all of my career in the area of homelessness prevention, which is an extremely diverse, exciting and truly rewarding area to work in. For the last three years I’ve worked as a Commissioning Officer for Homelessness Prevention in Denbighshire County Council. Roles previous to this have included managing support referrals, research, and front-line support, including working with rough sleepers and peer mentoring with care experienced young people. I’ve been very lucky to have met so many great and inspiring people along the way, and in more recent years in particular, I’ve been able to work closely with these folks to try to ensure that co-production – true partnership working – is central to how homelessness prevention support services are developed in Denbighshire.
I’m super passionate about enabling people to have genuine choice and control over their own lives, and I strongly believe that this is something that should be at the heart of all that we do in care and support – be it in learning disabilities, homelessness, or anything else. That is why I’m so excited to be able to be a part of this transformation project, working alongside the people we support, their families, carers and communities, and colleagues across North Wales, to ensure that people with learning disabilities are meaningfully supported by the community around them to build and achieve their own aspirations.
Paul Hosker, Health Lead
I have worked in the National Health Service for over forty years. I began my career in general nursing and later qualified as a learning disability and mental health nurse. I helped to develop and shape services under the All Wales Strategy within North Wales in the 1980’s and became the Team Manager for the learning disability health team, Denbighshire in the 1990’s until 2007. I then spent some time as a senior clinical nurse reviewing out of county placements on behalf of health including repatriating individuals through locally commissioned initiatives – working collaboratively with social services and the independent sector. I took a lead role in implementing both the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007) and the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010. Prior to my brief ‘retirement’ in 2013 I worked in the Health Liaison Team focussing on individuals with a learning disability who also experienced serious mental illness. Recently I have been working in the Enhanced Community Residential Service.
Kim Killow, Integration Workstream
With close to 20 years’ experience as a Development Officer, my career has focused on improving services for groups experiencing the most social and economic exclusion. The majority of my experience has been in the employability sector. This has included working successfully with health and social professionals to create pathways to employment support for their service users. I have a range of skills that I bring to the North Wales Together Project including project management, partnership working, negotiation and a creative and flexible approach to co-producing new approaches to service delivery.
Paul Mazurek, Telecare Work stream
I have over 34 years of working within the field of Learning Disabilities. I originally started that work in a large “institution”, pre All Wales Strategy Days. In 1990 I moved to work for then Clwyd/Denbighshire Social Services as a project worker. This role was supporting 2 gentlemen to live in their own home in the community. I remained in this role for over 14 years.
For the last 15 years I have been a Social Care Practitioner as part of the Denbighshire Complex Disabilities Team, formerly the Learning Disabilities Team.
I have developed a good working knowledge and experience of multi agencies and disciplines associated with Learning Disabilities and have championed a number of areas, including Telecare and Direct Payments.
I am excited to be part of the Learning Disability Transformation project, taking the Learning Disability strategy forward for the future to promote and enhance the lives of people with a Learning Disability.
Jeni Andrews, Conwy and Denbighshire Link Role
I joined Clwyd County Council in 1994 as a Welfare Rights Officer – helping people to claim the benefits they were entitled to. In 2003, I went to work for Conwy as an Appointee Officer, mainly for people with learning disabilities. Since 2004, I have been working in Denbighshire as a Commissioning and Planning Officer for adults with complex disabilities. I have really enjoyed this role – working with citizens and their families, with staff in the Council and with Providers and other organisations across Denbighshire.
I think this is an exciting time for the region – the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act has helped to change the way in which people with learning disabilities are supported in Wales. Now, the North Wales Together transformation project will take things further, and will help to change lives. I’m really looking forward to being a part of this work.
Steve Brown, Commissioning and Procurement
I have been a passionate advocate and supporter of people within Learning Disability Services for over 25 years, first starting my career in the Care sector in the early 90’s, working across complex services in the northwest of England and for the last sixteen years as a Support Manager for Flintshire County Council. I am a keen practitioner of positive behavioural support and have specialised in the training and embedding of Active Support models within Flintshire where I also provide training and support in autism. I am delighted to be joining the North Wales Transforming Learning Disability Services project, where I look forward to working with Colleagues and communities across the region in co-producing services and making recommendations to improve the lives of all people with Learning Disabilities.
Mark John-Williams, Wrexham/Flintshire Link Role
I would like to introduce myself as the new Planning & Development Officer for Wrexham & Flintshire (Job Sharing with Bev Futia). I have worked with people with learning disabilities over the last 33 years, having started as part of the All Wales Strategy Programme in 1986, so getting this role feels like full circle! I have a brother with learning disabilities who has benefited from many of the approaches I have learned about. He has been working as a Tyre fitter since 1990 and has a rich and varied social life, partly helped by us working together to create a ‘circle of support’ in 1994. I have used Person Centred Planning for the whole of my career, have lead a Participation Team, managed a successful Transition project, co-lead a Leadership programme for people with learning disabilities and most recently was the Director of the Co-production Network for Wales. Because of my passion to make a difference on the ground and in our communities I co-founded a Community Interest Company and Co-operative, called Flintshire DO-IT (Developing Opportunities & Interests Together). Amongst the many inclusive projects we have created, my favourite includes two Community Bands. This allows me to indulge in my passion – making music – I am a bad guitarist, but love rocking out with my friends!
Sioned Williams, Gwynedd and Mon Link Role, Job Share
Hello, my name is Sioned Williams and I live on the Lleyn Peninsula. I have gained vast experience of working with adults with learning disabilities in Gwynedd over the years, initially as an Advocacy Officer with North Wales Advice and Advocacy Association and then for Gwynedd County Council developing services around Person Centred Planning. I have also been fortunate to work with and support carers in Gwynedd as a Field Officer with Carers Outreach Service. For the last three years I have been a Development Officer with St David’s Hospice and am very excited about my new role as a Development and Planning Officer for Gwynedd and Môn. I look forward to meeting you in the near future.
Sian Croston, Workforce Development
I am very excited to be joining the Transformation team as a Planning and Development Officer taking the lead on Workforce Development work stream. After graduating from Lancaster University in 2001 with a Management and HR degree, my career within HR began. My early experience involved working in both operational and strategic HR roles mainly within the Construction industry. Ten years ago I took the decision to join the public sector working for Flintshire County Council. Since then I have carried out a number of roles within HR Business Partnering, Organisational Development and Learning and Development, having had the opportunity to successfully contribute to a number of strategic projects, some of which have been on a regional basis. I am very excited to be joining the North Wales Together Project, with a clear vision to making a difference to people’s lives.
Kathryn Whitfield, Programme Manager
I have worked with people with Learning Disabilities throughout the whole of my career, starting by training as a Job coach with people with Learning Disabilities in 1991. I still find myself backward chaining new tasks to this day! I qualified as a Social Worker in 1995 and joined Clwyd County Council as a Social Work/Care Manager in the Learning Disabilities Team. I was part of the Bryn Y Neuadd resettlement project from 2000 to 2006, resettling 12 individuals back to the Denbighshire area, became Senior Practitioner in the Denbighshire LD team in 2006 and Team Manager in 2011 when the team expanded to also work with individuals with High Functioning Autism and Acquired Brain Injury. I also spent 20 years working as an AMHP and am a Best Interest Assessor under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.
The opportunities this project presents are transformational for Citizens, families and services across North Wales. My role -alongside a team of 10 planning officers, an administrator and those already involved in the venture- will be to manage the successful implementation of the “Transforming LD services programme” to ensure its successful implementation across the region. The transformation will create a single integrated approach, structure and process to provide seamless services to people with Learning Disabilities across North Wales. The aim of the project is to develop a new service model which will be sustainable after the Transformation is completed. No pressure then!!
Partnership working will be key to this role so I very much look forward to meeting those who have a part to play in this process. We are lucky to have a vision in place already in the shape of the newly agreed North Wales Learning Disability Strategy. I would welcome contact from individuals or teams who would like to discuss the project and potentially be part of developing (or even piloting) some of the key actions contained in the strategy.
Beverley Futia (pronounced Few-Tier), Wrexham/Flintshire Link Role (Job Share)
I am a qualified project manager and accountant with public sector experience spanning over 10 years, having spent the last 4 years working as an independent consultant supporting services redesign projects in response to national guidance and cost envelope reductions.
I am also a qualified performance coach, NLP & Mindfulness practitioner and supports teams and individuals through the change journey.
I have lived experience of learning disability services in the North West, supporting my nephew who is now 20 transition from Children’s to Adult’s services. I live in Connah’s Quay with my Husband and 2 dogs and enjoy competitive motorsport on most weekends.