Our stories

Do you understand me?

Do you understand me?

DATE: 17.06.2024

Understanding those we support is our top priority at Choice Care. Our in-house Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) team have a history of introducing pioneering approaches to specialist care.

PBS is a person-centred approach to supporting people to improve their quality of life. The approach focuses on creating physical and social environments that are supportive and capable of meeting people's needs, enhancing their independence and helping them thrive, to live the life they would like to live. Our PBS department work with the individual, their relatives, care team and other professionals to understand the person as a whole – what is important to and for them – to identify the best ways to support them.

Having an in-house PBS team enables us to offer direct support to everyone involved in the person’s care. This includes providing the service with additional resources and training dependent on the specific needs of the people at that service.

What is a PBS plan?

A Positive Behaviour Support or PBS Plan is a document designed to enable staff to support and understand the individuals we support. The plan uses the background information, discussion with stakeholders and knowledge gained from directly meeting the resident to understand and support the individual through:

  • Their communication preferences, both how they express themselves and what communication they are receptive to including communication tools and aids.
  • The individual’s triggers, signs, and signals, as well as, how we can support proactively, actively, and reactively.
  • Any behaviours that challenge including a description of the behaviour, the severity, risks, and frequency.

How do we formulate a PBS plan?

Working alongside the individual, their relatives and other professionals including our Referrals team, the PBS department begin formulating a PBS plan and preparing resources during the transition process.

The staff supporting the individual are then provided with additional training that is required to be able to support their understanding of the person. Once the plan is formulated, and the initial training has been completed, the plan is reviewed at both six and twelve weeks, following the moving in day. From this point on, training and PBS plan reviews occur annually or if there are changes in the individual’s care or presentation.

The support the PBS Team provide is underpinned by a set of core values that include Improving quality of live and using the Least Restrictive approach. To do so the PBS team, with the support of the Positive Intervention Practitioners, will implement this in various ways such as Role Modelling, Reflective Practice, debrief and trainings to equip the staff team to embody PBS values in the care and support they provide.

Reflective Practice:

The PBS Team support the staff team to reflect on what works well and what could be improved. Together with the staff team, strategies are developed to support an individual in a way that improves and enhances their quality of life.

Role Modelling:

The PBS Team visit the services regularly to role model the approaches outlined in PBSPs. This aims to provide staff with a better understanding of strategies and support them to develop their confidence in line with the PBSP.

Positive Intervention Practitioners (PIPs) :

Introduced as a path for progression into the PBS Team, the PIP role acts as a stepping stone from Support Worker to Behaviour Practitioner. PIPs undergo an intensive induction programme to understand the fundamentals of PBS and to be able to model PBS values in the service. PIPs work closely alongside the PBS Team as well as the staff team, spending one day week implementing PBS in the service through PBSP updates, role-modelling, observations, resource creation, etc., and the remaining time on shift supporting the residents directly.  Through a PIP, the level of support our PBS team can provide is enhanced and encourages a more collaborative way of working with the staff team.

Going the extra mile, MH’s success story


MH, a resident at one of the Choice Care homes in Berkshire, moved in at the beginning  of 2023 having previously lived at home with his parents and in hospital settings.

MH’s move had spanned over a two-year period. During this time, the PBS team built a strong relationship with MH and his family including those directly involved in MH’s care  to discuss how best to support MH.. To reduce MH’s anxieties surrounding the move the PBS team spoke to MH via phone calls, where he described his routines and what he wanted his support at Choice Care to look like.  MH visited the service multiple times to enable him to become familiar with the environment, staff and local area. These visits gave the PBS Team personalized insight into the creation of MH’s PBSP and allowed MH himself to coproduce this document.

This person-centred approach enabled the PBS team to make informed and personalised decisions when preparing the resources and training prior to MH’s move in day, including further support on supporting individuals with OCD.

When MH first moved into the service, he spent majority of his time in his bedroom and had limited interactions with staff and other residents due to fear of contamination. MH would not eat any food other than what was prepared for him by his parents. When MH would access the communal areas of the service, he would not sit on any furniture and would stand for extended periods of time. MH’s personal care routine was a core aspect of his day, and he would engage in this repetitively, limiting his quality of life.

How we have supported MH:

To support MH, the PBS team offered personalised OCD training before the move, ensuring staff had the correct knowledge. Along with this, staff were also provided with a factsheet on OCD to serve as an accessible resource when required. Training is also provided regularly as new staff join the home to ensure consistency in person centered care. MH’s care plan was updated on a regular basis with the most up to date and effective approaches. Staff supported MH by wearing full PPE when entering his bedroom to reduce the fear of contamination. The PBS Team created a sign for MH to put on his door to ensure he was able to complete his routine without interruptions. The service does not complete any fire drills during this time to ensure MH is able to complete his routine. This in turn, lessened the time spent on his routine and ensured MH had more time to do the things he loved and improved his quality of life.

MH's progress since living with Choice Care:

As time in the home has progressed and he gained trust in the staff team, staff are now able to support him in his bedroom without the use of PPE. This trust in the staff team also provided MH with the opportunity to get involved in preparing and cooking simple meals both with staff and independently. MH has begun to spend more time in the communal space with staff and residents and now feels comfortable sitting on furniture in the home. MH no longer spends most of his day in his room and is attending medical appointments as well as leaving the home to do things he loves in his local community.

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