Showing posts from February, 2014

Autism & Catatonia Seminar

A recent training seminar presented by Cornwall Foundation NHS Trust's Intensive Support Team staff with a local family gave Green Light employees a valuable insight into a little known condition.  
Paul is a young man living with autism who started showing bizarre behaviour that was distressing his parents, but worst of all, no one seemed able to say what was causing it.
When he was 15 and his voice broke he started speaking less, and then he started whispering until he stopped speaking altogether, said his mother, Debbie.  At the same time his movement started slowing down, along with his eating and drinking.
She said: “He lost lots of weight because he would not eat.  His eating and drinking fluctuates, but he will never ask for food or drink. You have to second guess his needs all of the time.  He has difficulty getting through doorways and crossing thresholds.  We have had to remove the mirrors in his bedroom because he stares at his reflection, shouting, screaming and grimacing…

Experience Matters

The often harrowing and moving accounts of people who have suffered poor care, such as those at Winterbourne View, a private hospital near Bristol for people with learning disabilities, are powerful reminders of why we are here, said Andrea Sutcliffe, the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) commissioner and chief inspector of adult social care.

Speaking at the CQC’s board meeting on Wednesday, she  told members: “We learned the lesson from this in terms of how the CQC responded and our inspection regimes..we take to heart the experience of these people that used these services or who had loved ones in those services and have been failed by them.”

The NHS watchdog failed the patients’ because it rated the hospital as compliant while ignoring a staff whistleblower. Louis Appleby the CQC’s non-executive board member recently met families who had experienced failures in care.  Their personal stories, he said,  were a “powerful narrative.”

Highlighting the weaknesses in the care system, he said, …

Green Light welcomes new recruits

"This is an exciting time for us," said Green Light's head of compliance and recruitment, Sarah Miller, welcoming its latest group of trainees on the first day of their thirteen day induction training at its base in Redruth. 

"Our last induction was in January when we trained thirteen people, which we thought was a large group, but there are 21 of you making it our biggest group to date!"

The organisation, founded in 2009, now employs more than 120 people and is growing at a tremendous pace, she told the roomful of expectant faces.

The trainees come from an array of backgrounds bringing with them varied experience, including time spent working in the service and equestrian industries.

Alistair, from Camborne, who has a six-year-old son who is autistic, told the group that he is keen to learn more about autism and wanted to work as a carer, while Dave, who grew up in South Africa, wanted a new challenge.

"I worked with race horses," said Tara, 31, who is or…

Employees describe their first impressions of working with Green Light Autism Cornwall

New employee, Andrew 34, a support worker based at September Lodge in Goonhavern, said he wanted to join the company following a glowing endorsement by a friend already employed by the organisation.
Speaking after his three week training, Andrew says: “It’s not humdrum at all. The team have made me feel very welcome and have been supportive.  I felt overwhelmed at first. I didn’t know how much I could do because of the customers’ individual and sometimes complex needs, but after watching the other staff members my confidence has grown.  You get out of the job what you put in.  I’m looking forward to exploring Cornwall and making the most of our beautiful county while helping the people that I’m caring for.
“I know that there are good career prospects within Green Light too.  Many support workers have gone on to become managers.  At the moment I am happy settling in, but promotion is something I would be looking for in the future.”

Andrew is also facing exciting times at home as he prepar…

Parent Power Is A Force to Reckon With

Kay Henry is a mother of five children, including Lewis, who has Down’s Syndrome, autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), who achieved a BSC Hons degree and is now the chief executive of the Parent Carer Council for Cornwall, which she joined in 2009.

Having to deal with the daily challenges life can bring, caring for a child with complex needs, she says the the strongest support comes from other parents: “They share advice and are great at listening to each other.  Services don’t always engage well with parents, who often feel isolated. Many are worn down by the constant battle to sort out their child’s needs.

“I’m up at 6am every day, getting Lewis ready and his brother, who has short-term memory recall and dyslexia.  I then spend the day dealing with emails and reports and I head home at 6pm.  Lewis is by my side as soon as he gets home.  He’s demanding and often wakes up at night.  I speak about my own experiences at conferences, it’s a very powerful tool.”

Kay He…

Bon Voyage to James

James arrived at work today with a heavy heart knowing it would be his last shift at the Green Light home he has worked in for several months.  James is returning to Australia, where he spent his early childhood before moving to England with his parents when he was 10-years-old.  Having resettled in Australia he contacted Green Light two years ago wanting to spend time in Cornwall where his family are based.  
James was interviewed on Skype from his home on the Gold Coast and despite his jet lag started his first shift as a senior support worker, caring for people with autism and other complex needs, the day after landing at Heathrow.  “He has been an incredible member of staff,” said Green Light’s Managing Director, Jo Pyrah,  “We are sad that he is leaving, he will be missed. 
"James has been brilliant with our staff and customers, a huge credit to the caring profession.  We wish him all the best with his new venture down under.”
Speaking during his last week, managing three self-…