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SILC Case Studies

We provide a wide range of services to people in Surrey. The case studies below will give you a sense of how we work and the different ways in which we can support you. All names have been changed to preserve our clients’ anonymity.

Advocacy

The client, Alan, was prescribed medical stockings to wear every day due to a condition in both legs. This was following treatment he received at St Catherine’s Hospice. Alan was frustrated that it took a long time to be referred to his GP surgery by St Catherine’s for this treatment. Furthermore, he was physically unable to put these stockings on and off by himself.

Alan requested support with this from his GP surgery but was advised no help was available. He was then invited to the surgery to see a nurse about this but she struggled to get the medical stockings on to Alan. No further support was offered by the surgery after this. Alan was advised that if he did not wear the medical stockings his legs would revert to their former condition.

Alan contacted the independent health complaints advocacy service and was allocated to an advocate who explained how SILC could support him with the NHS complaints procedure. The advocate wrote up an official complaint letter outlining his concerns about his treatment which he approved and the advocate then forwarded this on to the GP surgery.

The surgery replied within two weeks and a district nurse was booked to visit him on a daily basis. Alan remained dissatisfied with one part of the GP’s reply and so his advocate drafted a response letter for him which was sent to the GP surgery. The surgery then addressed this concern and Alan decided that he was satisfied with their reply and did not want to pursue the complaint any further. The advocate wrote to the GP surgery to confirm that he was officially bringing the complaint to a close. Alan was grateful for the support and guidance provided by the advocacy service.

Carer Support

Ethel is 94 and provides full time care for her 59 year old son who has a personality disorder, is agoraphobic and has suicidal tendencies. She also makes daily visits to her 94 year old husband in a care home who has dementia. Her own health is relatively good however her dual caring role is exhausting and she finds little quality time for herself. She doesn’t receive any support from social services.

Ethel’s GP recognised that she would benefit from some support to improve her health and wellbeing. The GP’s referral was passed to SILC and we contacted Ethel to provide advice/signposting to other useful carer services, along with information about the importance of looking after her own health needs.

Ethel was also awarded a Carer Support Payment to contribute towards the cost of a short break away from her caring role, enabling her to visit Normandy to join the annual veteran’s festival. Ethel was a WAAF with the RAF many years ago. On her return, she contacted us gratefully to explain how much she had benefitted from the break. She explained she was the only female veteran to attend that part of the ceremony, and ended her letter with “I hope you will understand how much it all meant to me”.

Independent Living Advice / Peer Support

Debbie is a woman in her 30s with Friedrich’s ataxia. She lives with her husband and employs a PA to support her with personal care and household tasks. Debbie took on a new PA in January but contacted SILC in June as she was concerned that the PA was taking a lot of time off sick and she didn’t know what to do about it.

SILC took ongoing advice from the legal advice line that Debbie has access to through her Employer’s Liability insurance and met with Debbie, her husband and the PA to discuss the situation. SILC took notes of the meeting and passed these to the legal advice line. SILC also provided Debbie and the PA with information about statutory sick pay and reminded her how to inform Debbie’s payroll company when the PA is off sick.

Following the meeting, Debbie is satisfied that the PA is genuinely unwell, has taken medical advice and is awaiting an operation. She decided that she would continue to monitor the situation and come back to SILC with any concerns but didn’t want to take any further action. She is now aware of how to tell her payroll company when the PA is off sick.

Training

I contacted SILC about training around 8 years ago and a 'learning needs analysis' was completed by one of SILC's trainers to identify my PAs’ learning needs as well as looking at the needs of my support team as a whole. Once this was in place we looked at the training on offer with SILC as well as the Individual Employer Funding available from Skills for Care.

SILC helped me to complete the necessary application forms, and we sent them off hoping that the funding would be approved for my PAs to be trained on Moving and Positioning in my home using my equipment – an environment that my staff and I are familiar with. It was! From that day on we haven’t looked back.

We developed an induction process and, depending on funding availability, it is either held at home or externally with SILC. The induction is centred around my personal needs and I attend all sessions so that my views are expressed and staff are made aware of my expectations.

One thing that I have learned is the importance of ’professional boundaries’ as these can often get muddied and then problems arise! I also appreciate the value of regular supervisions and if I need further support with this the SILC trainer is available to call on.

I regularly attend 'Good Boss' sessions which help me to continually improve as an employer and has also given me a great support network.

All of the training has been excellent as the trainers work hard to make sure I understand everything. My staff are always looking for new courses to go on and are keen to learn how they can support me better. I would recommend SILC’s training to everyone.

Supported Pathways to Employment

Mary joined the course having been out of work due to a long term health condition. Mary had a very low self-esteem, her confidence was rock bottom and she hadn’t worked for several years.

Due to her health condition, Mary needed to find a job where she could have the flexibility of either sitting or standing and also couldn’t do any very physical or heavy manual work. Due to her personal circumstances she was also only looking for a part-time job (up to 16 hours p/w).

Mary had several years’ experience of working for a large supermarket and she felt there were elements of the role that she could still manage. So we recognised that she was an excellent candidate for a smaller retail outlet and had some useful transferable skills to support her in this area.

Mary put her name forward for a job at a local newsagents and had an interview at the job centre the following week. Fortunately at that time we were able to offer a drop in day for anyone that had missed one of the training days and Mary took this opportunity to gain further support with preparing for her interview.

We spent some time with Mary, looking at the company’s website and picking out some facts about the organisation. We discussed the job and some of the tasks that she might be expected to do. Finally we discussed the interview and thought about some of the questions that they might ask. We supported Mary with thinking about her previous experience from the large supermarket and how this might transfer to a smaller newsagent. Mary left feeling energised and full of confidence and said that the day had really helped her with being prepared for the interview.

Mary had a positive interview, successfully negotiated a reduction in the number of hours required for the role and was offered the post. The company informed her that as soon as a position became available they would transfer her to her local store.

Mary was delighted with the outcome and said “I couldn’t have done it without you” and “you gave me the confidence I needed to get the job”. She was brimming with confidence, her voice was more animated than usual and I could tell she had a smile on her face just from listening to how she spoke.

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