As part of its “Valuing People Now” strategy, Wolverhampton City Council is working to give people with learning difficulties more options for independence. With Department of Health funding, it’s creating alternative housing with innovative support, including Brain in Hand, to help people live as independently as possible.
The programme will give residents options to move from residential care into less restrictive services whilst giving the support tools needed to make the transition smooth and ensure people still feel supported. Brain in Hand software is proven to do this. Devon Partnership NHS Foundation Trust used Brain in Hand for this purpose, improving lives whilst also saving £15,600- £26,000 per annum and £26,000-£41,600 for complex service users.
The programme is also helping the people who currently live in supported housing projects to increase their independence further, achieving new goals and reducing their reliance on support workers.
Brain in Hand helps those who experience high levels of anxiety, and can be dependent on others, to help make every day decisions. People can access their own personalised notes and coping strategies from their phone, but if faced with an unexpected event and they can’t cope, urgent support from staff can be requested through the touch of a button. This helps people to grow in independence, but also feel supported as intervention can be rapidly provided when it is needed most.
Support staff are also given a dashboard from where they can see how all of those they support are feeling at any point in time, helping them to know who needs help. With permission, they can access each person’s Brain in Hand usage tracker, helping them to see what challenges people have faced, what solutions have worked and spot potential new issues they can help with.
There are an estimated 900 people with a learning disability living in Wolverhampton. Historically, many of these people didn’t get to choose where they live, often living with their family or residential care. With this project, the Council is changing this picture.
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