Category

News

Headway Nottingham: Fundraising to Stop the Closure

By | News

Since re-opening after the pandemic, Headway Nottingham is at risk of closing down. The fantastic charity supports individuals who have sustained a brain injury and is also full of volunteers who have sustained a brain injury.

Our fantastic Divisional Director, Andi Williams (CMgr FCMI), is taking on the challenge of 9 hours of High-intensity Interval Training (HITT) at two local gyms to raise money for Headway Nottingham.

With a target of £1000, Andi’s JustGiving page can be found here.

Below, Andi talks about this fundraiser.

The Fundraiser

I’ll be completing an upcoming fundraising event that holds immense significance for the local community and myself personally. Headway Nottingham, a vital organisation providing support and rehabilitation for brain injury survivors, is at risk of closing its doors due to financial challenges. In response, we are rallying together to raise funds and ensure the continuation of their invaluable services.
Headway Nottingham has been a beacon of hope for individuals and families affected by brain injuries. They offer various services that empower survivors to rebuild their lives, including therapy, counselling, educational programs, and social initiatives. Their dedicated team has made a tangible difference in countless lives, fostering recovery, and promoting independence. Unfortunately, the financial strain caused by recent circumstances threatens to shut down this remarkable organisation.

Andi’s Personal Connection

On my 18th birthday, I went away with friends to Torquay. During this break a freak accident occurred which resulted in me ending up in a coma. I remained in a hospital in Hereford for some time, after having emergency surgery to remove a bleed on the brain. After this, I was transferred to Dudley Road in Birmingham and eventually discharged to a Headway service in Longbridge. Headway supported me during my rehabilitation and helped me recover from what was a serious accident, so Headway holds a special place for me.

That is part of the reason I enjoy working at Empowering U. We provide support and care to people who have suffered catastrophic injuries, ABI, and head injuries through our case management and our care delivery.

The Fundraising Plan

I’m gearing up for a mega-challenge that will require a lot of stamina. I’ll be completing HIIT classes at Orangetheory Fitness Nottingham & Derby.

9 hours of training and burning through around 6000 calories! (Just to give you an idea, that’s nearly double what I burned running an ultra-marathon on 26th November 2023!)

We’re also hosting a bake sale at our office in Pride Park, Derby. Shannon, our tremendous baker, will be creating some amazing cakes for the event and all the money we raise is going towards the fundraising target of £1000.

Lunar Summers: A Pioneering Case Manager and Occupational Therapist

By | News

Who is Lunar Summers?

Lunar Summers is a highly experienced and dedicated occupational therapist with a diverse background in healthcare provision. Over the years, she has gathered extensive knowledge and skills in various aspects of occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and case management. Lunar’s primary focus has been on vocational and general rehabilitation, with particular expertise in neurology, orthopedic trauma, and life-limiting illness. Her passion for offering the highest standards of client care and her commitment to promoting the value of the services she engages in make her an excellent case manager.

For the past 13 years, Lunar has been working as an Independent Occupational Therapist and Case Manager, providing comprehensive treatment and support to clients in need. Her key responsibilities include:

Lunar’s Responsibilities

  • Conducting workplace and home assessments
  • Performing risk assessments and activity analysis
  • Implementing graded activity programs to maximise function and independence
  • Coordinating and managing resources for clients from statutory, private, and voluntary services
  • Collaborating with interdisciplinary teams to deliver comprehensive treatment

Achievements

One of Lunar’s achievements was her role as a Research Therapist in Orthopaedic Trauma at John Radcliffe Hospital. During her tenure, she:

  • Developed the Occupational Therapy role in orthopedic research
  • Offered expertise in multi-disciplinary assessments and treatment planning
  • Implemented and evaluated clinical research protocols
  • Collaborated with surgeons to identify suitable candidates for trials and managed literature, consent, and compliance with schedules
  • Formulated and analysed treatment plans following trauma, making discharge recommendations for optimal independence
  • Engaged with research networks to promote joint initiatives

Lunar’s Extensive Skill Set

  • Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration
  • BABICM registration
  • Occupational risk assessments
  • Goal-setting proficiency
  • Case Management
  • Occupational therapy treatment plan development
  • Outcome planning
  • Comprehensive report writing
  • Specialisation in palliative, neurological, and orthopedic rehabilitation
BIG Cerebral Palsy Conference 2024 collage

BIG Cerebral Palsy Conference 2024 Reflection

By | News

Wednesday 17th January 2024 played host to the Brain Injury Group Cerebral Palsy Conference 2024. This event brought together speakers and experts involved in the care of individuals with Cerebral Palsy. Jennifer Mitchell BA (Hons), CMgr MCMI (Head of Business Operations) and Chris Dindar (Case Manager) provide a reflection on the day. 

What is the Cerebral Palsy Conference 2024? 

Hosted at the National Space Centre, Leicester, the Brain Injury Group (BIG) Cerebral Palsy Conference 2024 had a programme featuring 8 expert speakers with the headline sponsor being France+Associates. The conference offered valuable insights into the issues faced during the care of those with cerebral palsy, considerations when assessing and arranging accommodation, supporting those with cerebral palsy through their education, and legal updates in cerebral palsy cases. 

Reflecting on the day

The National Space Centre proved to be an excellent location for this conference. Leicester’s central location in Great Britain made it accessible for a wide range of attendees and the facilities at the centre were excellent, with the Thor Able and Blue Streak rockets providing the backdrop to lunch. This fantastic conference was brought together by Julie McCarthy (Brain Injury Group Training and Membership Manager), who did an exceptional job of organising it. 

“Even though my role is ‘behind the scenes’ and I am not a clinician, I feel it is crucial for personnel operating behind the scenes to attend these kinds of conferences.” mentions Jennifer Mitchell.  

“Through this, we can obtain a better understanding of what our clients and their families are experiencing. Moreover, obtaining knowledge about various complex injuries and their management strengthens our grasp of why we do what we do.” 

In total, there were eight seminars throughout the day from: 

“All the talks during the conference were extremely informative and insightful. In particular, the legal update on cerebral palsy cases presented by Richard Baker KC was profoundly enlightening. The exposure to such case studies amplifies our understanding of perhaps overlooked aspects of our work. A case study involving a defendant’s expert, presented by Richard, left me taken aback regarding the case study and the involvement of the defendants’ expert.” continues Jennifer Mitchell. 

We thank BIG for providing these crucial training days and the significance they play in the care of those with cerebral palsy. We cannot wait to attend more! 

Jo Wingate: Our Committed Registered Manager Ensuring First-Class Care Delivery

By | News

With over 10 years of experience as a Registered Manager, Jo Wingate personifies the dedication, professionalism, and unwavering focus required by the role to ensure care is delivered safely and effectively. Not only is she a Registered Manager, but she is also a passionate advocate for supporting the delivery of high-quality care offered by Empowering U.  

As a Registered Manager, Jo shows an unwavering focus on ensuring a safe environment for both clients and staff. Meticulously overseeing policies and procedures, Jo ensures these align with the latest statutory requirements. She continually promotes a culture of accountability and continuous improvement, crucial factors in supporting a safe and effective care environment. 

Jo’s commitment goes beyond simply meeting the necessary requirements. She consistently goes the extra mile to create a caring and compassionate atmosphere within our team, actively encourages open communication and collaboration among our team members and empowers them to provide the best possible support for our staff and clients. 

Understanding that continuous professional development and learning is vital, Jo supports staff development and training opportunities. Her dedication to fostering a culture of personal and professional growth allows our team members to stay up-to-date with the latest in the industry, resulting in enhanced care practices and better client outcomes. 

We are proud to have Jo Wingate as our Registered Manager. Her tireless efforts, ability, and focus on supporting our team to provide exceptional care have an immense impact on the lives of our patients and the overall success of our organisation. 

Embracing Adulthood: From Child to Adult Care Services

By | News

Transitioning from child to adult care is a complex journey full of emotions and challenges. When young individuals face this next step, it can often feel like navigating uncharted waters without a guiding compass for the individual and those who support them.

Empowering U supports the transition into adult care services by providing expert guidance and the strong support network of our care team through our transition service.

Understanding the Transition Period 

The transition from childhood to adulthood within the context of care services is a critical stage where the individual’s needs, aspirations and support structures undergo substantial change.  

During this period, the emergence of independence and self-determination takes centre stage, requiring sensitive and skilful navigation to embed these principles into everyday life, while ensuring that the continuity of care is uncompromised and bespoke to the client’s needs and aligned with the family’s requirements. 

Empowering U seamlessly aids young adults and their loved ones in navigating the transition from child to adult care services by crafting individualised transition plans that places the clients’ unique requirements at the centre. Our approach not only ensures compliance with necessary statutory requirements but also goes beyond, fostering a journey infused with confidence and empowerment; as our name suggests, we Empower U. 

Challenges in Moving to Adult Care 

Transitioning involves complex emotional and practical adjustments, often creating uncertainty and anxiety as familiar support networks shift. Such changes require careful planning and flexibility to ensure a seamless continuity of care. Every individual deserves a transition tailored to their unique life narrative and aspirations. 

Every individual deserves a transition tailored to their unique goals and aspirations. A clear transition strategy is essential in supporting the individual and their family. This means predicting potential hurdles (like eligibility for different services) and aligning with the new care paradigms that focus on the client’s requirements and unique goals.

Empowering U’s Transitional Support Framework 

Empowering U’s approach adopts a tailored framework, designed with the individual’s unique needs in mind. It looks to alleviate the stress that often goes with care service transitions by providing a consistent, person-centred care plan. Through preparation, collaboration and ongoing support, Empowering U ensures that young clients and their families navigate the shift to adult services with confidence and assurance. 

Our specialist team facilitates a continuum of care that adapts to the individual. The focus is on enabling and empowering, ensuring all necessary resources are in place to foster a successful and fulfilling transition to adult life. 

Personalised Pathway Planning 

Empowering U prioritises pathway planning, essential in achieving a seamless transition from child to adult care services. 

  • Individualised Assessment: A comprehensive evaluation of requirements, preferences, and goals. 
  • Collaborative Goal Setting: Working with the individual, their family, and existing care framework to set up realistic and achievable goals. 
  • Resource Coordination: Identifying and organising the necessary support networks and services. 
  • Continuity of Care: Ensuring consistent support throughout the transition phase. 
  • Monitoring and Adjusting: Regularly reviewing the care plan to adapt to changing needs. 

This strategy ensures that each young person receives a personalised and adaptable care blueprint. Adaptable pathway planning is key to successful transitions, accommodating changing needs and circumstances.

Continuity of Care Strategies 

Within the realm of transitional care, Empowering U upholds an environment of consistency in the delivery of services. This approach reduces the stress a client and their family face during a stressful point in their life. 

Strategies are crafted to ensure that the handover to adult services mirrors the familiarity and understanding established during the childcare arrangement. This involves maintaining key relationships, preserving consistency in care protocols, and ensuring the young person actively has a say in the transition process. This strategic approach sustains a supportive environment, which is critical for individuals navigating this period of change. 

A robust framework within Empowering U provides crucial staff training on transition-specific challenges and solutions. By investing in our team’s development, we ensure that quality care and support is continuously provided during this pivotal time. The consistent application of best practices ensures that care remains person-centred, responsive, and meets the evolving needs of the individual. 

Empowering U deploys meticulous oversight and regular reassessments to ensure that care remains appropriate and supportive as individuals mature into adulthood. Through continuous dialogue with clients and their families and the support of our multidisciplinary teams’ framework, we ensure that adaptations to care plans are well-informed. This dynamic approach guarantees that services stay aligned with the goals outlined in the care plan. 

Developing Independence with Empowering U 

Empowering U recognises the importance of fostering individual choice as young individuals transition from child to adult care services. By championing person-centred strategies, we provide a scaffold that encourages service users to take ownership of their lives and care needs. Through bespoke support plans, we ensure each path to independence is as unique as the person it is designed for, reflecting their distinct preferences, ambitions, and capabilities. 

This transition is not a handover but a guided journey towards greater independence, whilst ensuring safety and wellbeing remain a priority. We strike a balance between fostering independence and providing continued support, empowering clients, and their families to seamlessly navigate adult care services with confidence. 

Skill Building for Self-Management 

Developing self-management skills is central to fostering independence. Empowering U offers person-centred support to master these important abilities, ensuring individuals can manage their own care and lead fulfilling lives. 

Our focus extends to practical tasks, including managing finances, understanding health care needs, and navigating social environments. Clients gain confidence by learning to handle regimes necessary for their wellbeing, including medication management, appointment scheduling, and lifestyle choices. 

We ensure that the journey towards self-management does not compromise the safety and dignity of the individual. Empowering U assists the learning process, providing resources and support to aid in essential life skills. 

Encouraging Decision-Making 

Our specialist team supports individuals in carefully considering options and responsibly anticipating outcomes, supporting the gradual transition towards complex decision-making that involves evaluating risks (financial, health-related, or social) and benefits. 

With the unwavering support and guidance from our expert team, our aim is to nurture a shift toward empowered independence. We firmly believe that by fostering these decision-making skills, individuals can confidently navigate life’s challenges with the assurance of support and make well-informed choices.

Collaborative Networks and Advocacy 

At Empowering U, collaboration forms the bedrock of a seamless transition process, where our team supports healthcare professionals, family members, and existing childcare framework to ensure continuity of care. This collective advocacy ensures that the client’s needs and preferences are central to the conversation. 

These networks play a crucial role in advocating for the specific needs of each individual, tailoring a path that addresses the complexities of transitioning from child to adult care services. Openness within these networks is key to navigating systems and championing the rights and aspirations of clients. 

Pressure Ulcers: Highlighting the Painful Problem

By | News

What is a Pressure Ulcer? 

 Pressure ulcers are painful areas of damage to the skin and underlying tissue.  They often occur in areas where bones are close to the skin’s surface, such as the heels, hips, elbows, and coccyx.   

What are the causes? 

Pressure ulcers can happen to anyone; individuals have a higher chance of developing a pressure ulcer if: 

  • There is limited mobility and there is a difficulty in changing position regularly 
  • An individual is bedridden 
  • An individual uses a wheelchair for extended periods 
  • Have been seriously ill in intensive care or have recently had surgery 

What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms vary between individuals and the severity of the ulcer. However, the main symptoms are: 

  • Skin discolouration – the area may appear red or bluish in individuals with lighter skin tones and purple in individuals with brown or black skin tones 
  • Skin texture – the skin surrounding the ulcer may feel warm, spongy or hard 
  • Pain and itchiness – the individual experience pain and/ or itchiness surrounding the pressure ulcer 

Methods to ease symptoms 

The method of treating an ulcer depends on its severity. Some simple methods to relieve the pressure and stop new ones forming are: 

  • Helping an individual to change position and move regularly 
  • Sterile cleaning and dressings to protect the ulcer and help it heal 
  • Antibiotics if the ulcer has become infected 

Empowering U Case Managers: Introducing Jacque and Helen

By | News

We have expanded our case management team; introducing Jacque and Helen, our new Empowering U Case Managers. With a joint 52+ years under their belts in the nursing sector, we are excited to use their valuable experience to provide support and guidance towards the care of our clients.

Introducing Jacque’

Based in Bristol, Jacque is an RGN and former Registered Manager with more than 28 years’ clinical experience in a variety of specialties. Her most recent position involved managing all aspects of the delivery of highly specialised, outcome based, person centred care to the highest standard and supporting her team of colleagues and peers to do the same, within a Complex Care Service, for both adults and paediatrics.

Jacque is experienced in delivering clinical support, direction, advice and education within both the private sector and the NHS. Jacque has developed and delivered educational workshops, in-house training and one-to-one support. She regularly delivers presentations on a variety of topics and in a wide variety of settings to all levels of seniority in healthcare. Jacque’ has extensive experience and a proven track record in the setting up and management of client services for monitoring, managing and caring for clients with complex needs in their own homes or community and acute setting, including Spinal Cord Injury, Cerebral Palsy, NMD, Acquired Brain Injury among others.

She was instrumental in building relationships, developing business opportunities, and ensuring positive outcomes, facilitating and delivering quality driven complex care in accordance with CQC requirements and in the provision of customer focused solutions. Jacque is a highly skilled respiratory nurse and has led workshops on oxygen therapy, cardiac and ventilatory monitoring, ventilation and sleep disordered breathing. Jacque has an outstanding reputation within the Motor Neurone Disease Association when it comes to teaching all aspects of respiratory nursing.

Jacque’s Skills

  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Brain Injury inc Cerebral Palsy
  • NMD
  • Mental Health
  • Adult and Paediatric Nursing
  • Clinical Assessments
  • Respiratory Nursing

Introducing Helen

Based in Hull, Helen, with her wealth of 24 years of experience as a Lead District Nurse, has served in community settings, where she dedicated her skills to supporting individuals with multi trauma, neurological, orthopaedic and pain management conditions. Her commitment and practical approach have not only enhanced the quality of care she provides but also made a significant difference in the lives of those she serves. Helen’s extensive expertise and empathetic nature collectively drive her focus towards the well-being of her patients. Helen’s dynamic professional journey, spanning six years as a rehabilitation case manager, includes her invaluable contribution as an expert witness.

Formulating case management plans with a person-centred approach and a keen understanding of different injuries, Helen adopts a biopsychosocial approach to healthcare. This holistic method enables her to identify and address any potential barriers at the earliest opportunity with a goal of enhancing the individual’s journey towards recuperation. One significant aspect of Helen’s experience lies in the realm of vocational rehabilitation.

She has effectively collaborated with clients and their employers to facilitate a smooth and gradual return to work after an injury, hence contributing positively to their recovery path. Furthermore, Helen’s experience extends to collaboration with multidisciplinary teams, social services, healthcare providers, Solicitors, and Insurers. This exposure has added depth to her understanding of the diverse aspects of case management, ultimately leading to the enrichment of her professional competence.

Helen’s Skills

  • Complex Multi Trauma
  • Acquired Brain Injury
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Polytrauma
  • Complex Orthopaedic
  • Psychological Trauma
  • Complex Musculoskeletal

Clinical Lead and Tireless Advocate for Clinical Governance

By | News

Who is Rachel?

Since our founding in 2014, Empowering U has provided a clear commitment to clinical governance and client safety as paramount. Working closely with our complex care team, Rachel tirelessly advocates for these values. We are proud to have her as our Clinical Lead and tireless advocate for clinical governance and safety.

Rachel graduated from the University of Lincoln with a First Class BSc (Hons) in Adult Nursing, Adult Health Nurse/ Nursing and soon went on to work for the NHS as a Registered Nurse, with a clear focus on care planning, inpatient care, and adult nursing. Following this, she joined Empowering U in February 2022 as a Registered Nurse. After going from success to success, in August 2022 Empowering U decided to offer the role of Clinical Lead to Rachel.

As Clinical Lead, Rachel works tireless and by example to ensure our care provision follows best practices in clinical governance and safety; and that our clients receive the highest quality of care. She is passionate about improving client outcomes, and her dedication is evident in the hard work she puts in every day.

What do our team say?

Rachel has had an immensely positive impact on our service and the lives of our patients, and we couldn’t be prouder to have her as part of our team,” mentions Andrew Williams, Divisional Director at our East Midlands Branch.

She brings an unwavering commitment to excellence in patient care and safety. Her tireless efforts in implementing and monitoring our clinical governance processes have ensured that our service adheres to the highest standards. With her keen attention to detail, Rachel consistently identifies areas for improvement and works diligently to enhance our procedures.

Rachel’s support for Empowering U Clinical Governance Procedures

A primary responsibility of Rachel’s is to oversee our Clinical Governance procedures. Whether it is ensuring we are meeting local and national regulatory requirements, ensuring we have robust policies and procedures in place to mitigate risk, or working with various care teams to ensure our policies and processes are aligned with our company goals, Rachel will be there to supervise.

Rachel is a tireless advocate for patient safety and encourages transparency between staff. If there are concerns about safety, Rachel ensures our team feel comfortable about raising these concerns. Thanks to the help of Rachel, we are proud to have a culture of openness and transparency. She is also committed to ensuring staff have the training and education they need to deliver safe care, and she supports staff in their professional development.

As Clinical Lead, I feel incredibly grateful and empowered to provide a positive impact on the care provision and patient care at Empowering U,” comments Rachel Cox, Clinical Lead.

Rachel adds, “I am truly grateful for the opportunities to lead, mentor, and support the incredible team at Empowering U. Together, we champion patient safety, promote a culture of compassion, and continuously strive for excellence. Knowing that our collective efforts positively impact the well-being of our patients is the ultimate reward.

Her tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed! Her colleagues admire her passion for her work, commitment, and thoroughness to making a difference in the lives of our patients. Rachel is an extremely valuable asset to the team, and we are very lucky to call her our Clinical Lead and tireless advocate for clinical governance and safety!

Andrew Williams to take on a ultra-marathon for BBC Children In Need 

By | News

Our East Midlands, Lincolnshire & Yorkshire branch’s Head of Operations, Andrew Williams, is taking on a ultra-marathon around Shipley Country Park, Derbyshire on 26th November to raise money for BBC Children in Need. Andi has set up a Just Giving page with a target of £500. 

Out of work, Andi can be found pushing himself in aid of others. 10 years ago, he ran in the London Marathon for Mencap, and he jumped 3,500 feet from the ground doing a Static Line Parachute Jump.  

I wouldn’t class myself as an adrenaline junkie” mentions Andi. “Ever since I have read Can’t Hurt Me and Never Finished by David Goggins, I’ve wanted to push and to find out more about myself. I’m always in the gym and enjoy HIIT sessions, recently I’ve started doing 10k on the treadmills to get ready for the 50k around Shipley Park. 

Andi not only limits himself to running marathons and jumping out of planes, but he’s also found UWCB (Ultra White-Collar Boxing) raising money for Cancer Research UK, Wolf Run Autumn and Winter for Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Special Care Baby Units, Foremarke Hall Triathlon as well as Tough Mudder. 

We all wish Andi huge congratulations for what he’s achieved as well as luck for the 50k ultra-marathon for BBC Children in Need! 

You can visit Andi’s Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/page/andrew-williams-070581 

IRCM Logo

Empowering U are Proud Supporters of IRCM

By | News

We are pleased to announce that Empowering U are now proud supporters of IRCM (Institute of Registered Case Managers). The IRCM is a not-for-profit organisation whose role will be to safeguard the users of case management services:

  • Through setting standards for the case manager practice
  • Through publishing a public register of people who meet requirements and commit to practising in line with IRCM standards
  • Through providing a process through which concerns can be reported, and then investigating and taking action where registered case managers do not meet IRCM standards

Currently in the set-up phase, we look forward to seeing the IRCM become an accredited body and allowing our case managers to become IRCM accredited.