Person-Centred Active Support is a method of enabling people with learning disabilities to engage more in their daily lives. It promotes independence and supports people to take an active part in their own lives.
We started introducing Active Support in the summer of 2017, with the creation of eight pilots across England and Scotland. The success of the pilots led to a wider rollout, which started in October 2018. This includes training for practice leaders and observers as well as support staff.
Active Support is carefully evaluated. Formal measures of success include the quality of person-centred plans, internal audits, and regular observations where teams are scored against five engagement measures.
Informally, staff look at the difference that Active Support is making by meeting regularly to share success stories.
“I don’t like it when staff do it – I do it all by myself!” – a person we support
Abbie is a practice leader for Active Support in Leeds. She says: “The people we support are doing much more for themselves day-to-day. They may be little things like making a drink or preparing food, but they make a big difference.
“One gentleman we support would previously have got up in the morning, had a bath, and then waited for us. Now he gets up, strips down his bed and, with a little prompting, will get the laundry underway.”
Victoria Neish, Director of Operations and Quality, echoes this: “Our staff have loved watching the people they support grow in confidence and skill, and they get a lot of job satisfaction from that as well.”