Understanding Complex Needs

This term is used for individuals who may experience multiple health and social care needs, this can include a combination of sensory difficulties, communication difficulties, learning disability and physical disabilities. Supporting complex needs means we need to look at a holistic approach, and ensure we make the support person-centred in all areas. As an organisation we work with multi-disciplinary teams to enable individuals to access their unique support needs, our approach being implemented prior to an individual being welcomed into our services. We hold bespoke training for our staffing teams where we aim to promote a vision of the world that the client sees- what motivates them, what distresses them, what drives them. Likes and dislikes, their history, communication methods etc. All of this is accounted for and termed ‘My World’ training.

The information discussed in these sessions is drawn from direct experience of the individual by family members, current supporters and other involved professionals working together in partnership to leave no stone unturned in developing initial understanding and the preparations for welcoming a new individual to our services. For those with the most complex needs, the importance of regular review and update of support plans, particularly behaviour support and PBS plans, is incredibly important. Updating documents in line with current behaviour and mitigation strategies is all well and good but without developing key skills amongst out staffing teams we would not be supporting our clients to the full extent possible.

What may seem like a small or insignificant change for one person may be a very telling, positive or negative, sign for someone else. Next Steps focuses on the following to help inform us with complex needs:

  • Focused and continued professional development of staff teams, particularly around areas such as Positive Behaviour Support.
  • Utilising the Guernsey Participation and Leisure Assessment- Revised (GCPLA-R) and the Home Engagement Measure.
  • Close monitoring of a range of pertinent activities.
  • Establishing and maintaining positive partnerships with key and needs identified stakeholders.
  • Provision of consistent and high levels of bespoke support.