When AFG took over Freddie’s care in 2009, he had just been discharged from the high secure psychiatric units that he had been in since the age of fourteen. He was highly institutionalised with strict regiments and routine, due to his cognitive and neurological rehabilitation programme which planned his every move down to the hour.
He was supported with five members of staff, with an extra member of staff on standby for 12 hours a day for any extra support due to his physically aggressive behaviour.
Taking a person-centred approach
His support team needed to build an understanding of his needs and develop a person-centred approach to ensure his progress. They quickly understood that all actions and decisions required Freddie’s full involvement, so he didn’t get overwhelmed. Any change needed to be carefully considered, measured, and be agreed on Freddie’s terms.
Initially, Freddie’s support team had to use a lot of restrictive practices when approaching Freddie’s care. Due to his physical aggression, Therapeutic Management of Violence and Aggression (TMVA) was frequently required. This was gradually reduced to less restrictive practices over time, with Freddie positively adapting to this approach by the team. This resulted in a reduction of staff from five to three, and in the last year there have been no serious incidents, where previously there were multiple serious incidents reported each week.
The team began to take positive risks by taking him out into the community to get used to spending time in crowded spaces and interacting with others. They built this up slowly until he became comfortable, and he now regularly enjoys trips out and social activities with others.
A completely different life
Due to a huge improvement in his behaviours, Freddie now only needs three members of staff to support him. He regularly takes part in activities and socialises with others, including a lunch club with other people supported by AFG, trips to the cinema, going swimming and day trips.
Freddie now has his own flat and mobility car. He previously needed support with him during all activities outside the house, but now staff can step back and allow him to go about his day independently and safely.
Freddie sees his family at least once a week and goes on holiday with them a few times a year, and regularly spends time with extended family.
“When I started working with Freddie, he would not let you touch his hair. Over the years, we explained things to Freddie such as shampoos and conditioners that were best for his hair, as he would go swimming twice a week and it looked messy and unkempt due to the chlorine.
He will now wash his hair, go the hairdressers to get a cut and blow dry, and let staff straighten his hair. This may not sound like much, but it is a huge achievement and displays a massive level of trust from Freddie.”Bernadette Twiss, Support Worker