Milton Keynes care provider empowers service users to help shape future of care

Care provider users Yvonne and Hazel
Care provider users Yvonne and Hazel

A Milton Keynes care provider has consulted its service users on how to drive the future direction of social care – an opportunity users embraced

Carewatch Milton Keynes has consulted its service users on how to improve its services and care for the elderly.

Two service users seized the opportunity to put their views forward and provide positive feedback for care workers and the council.

Service user Yvonne Driscoll suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal damage and a blood disorder. She has been wheelchair bound for a number of years.

Jayne Young, head of learning and development at Carewatch, introduced Yvonne to Anna Murphy, specialist trainer for MS who also offers courses on MS to service users’ families and friends to allow for a further understanding of what their loved one is going through.

Yvonne has been greatly influential and has provided great insight into what MS patients go through on a day to day basis. Specialist MS courses are open to any family members, service users and care workers.

Yvonne expressed a desire to offer her expertise on the recruitment panel as she believes she recognises the traits necessary in a care worker. Yvonne is also nominating her care workers for the iCARE awards, an internal Carewatch staff reward and recognition scheme, to ensure that they are rewarded for their efforts.

The service user is also part of a pilot scheme, an incorporated voice app on a tablet to enable service users to develop their own support plans.

Yvonne is always sure to reward her care workers: “Their heart is in it. If they find anything on my body like a sore, they sort it out and report it straight away," she said.

"They’re my angels, I have a good laugh with my care workers.”

Meanwhile, another service user, Hazel Dean, says she owes her life to her care workers due to an experience where a care worker called an ambulance when the service user was unconscious. Hazel’s care workers put together a small notebook and continue to write reminders as she suffers from memory loss, this has been hugely helpful to Hazel.

"We wouldn’t be able now without you. My care workers are wonderful,” Hazel said.

Milton Keynes is the latest stop on Carewatch’s year-long mission to offer every one of its 10,000 service users and 5,000 staff across the UK the chance to feedback how they can improve delivery of care across nearly 60 offices. Service users range from elderly people to those living with physical or cognitive considerations.

“It’s vital that our service users can contribute their views and have a greater involvement in the shaping of our services," Jayne Young said.

“We are grateful to our service users in Milton Keynes for their kind words and we are looking forward to implementing their ideas and seeing the impact on future care across the UK.”

By August 2018, the learning and development team plan to have visited every office in the country.

To find out more about Carewatch, you can visit www.carewatch.co.uk