Transforming Lives at Totteridge House in High Wycombe

Totteridge House

Totteridge House is a 6 bedded residential service in High Wycombe. It opened in 2016 and provides specialist support for people with complex learning and mental health needs. The service provides innovative and imaginative support, enriched by the input of the Liaises multidisciplinary teams. These teams include, Positive Behaviour Support, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy.

The purpose of this brief report is to share with you a case study about a young man who recently moved into the home. We have permissions to share in his story as it offers an insight into the work we undertake, which lead to some wonderful outcomes for the people we support. Names in the report have been changed.

Amit is nearly 18 years old and has complex learning needs.He was moving from home into Totteridge House. Following assessment, placement offer, acceptance of the placement and transition planning, a date was set for his move. The staff in the home took a great deal of time and care to fully understand his needs. This led to them purchasing items and preparing his room ideally suited to his particular preferences.

Moving In

Amit moved into Totteridge House. Moving from home is a big step for anyone and adjusting to a new environment can be challenging. Whilst Amit enjoyed many aspects of his new home, there were many aspects of his day-to- day routine that required some development to support his own welfare and the welfare of others.

These included how one chooses to dress each day, the development of personal care awareness, new ways to approach mealtimes and consuming food, how to express ones wishes and interact with others. At home with his family Amit had created his own structure which often impacted upon the welfare of his family. Boundaries were challenging to apply and structure for Amit would be directed by his own energy and choices, regardless of the impact or consideration of his family.

Sensitive Support

There are a few essential elements required in the support of anyone making a big adjustment in their lives, especially if the person involved has additional needs, these include:

  •  Listening and good clear communication
  •  Understanding and patience
  • Kindness
  •  Introducing a positive structure
  •  Establishing boundaries and positively directing behaviour
  •  Open and regular review and adaptability
  •  Consistency

In establishing these essential elements the staff team worked in partnership with our internal Multi-Disciplinary Team, which consists of Positive Behaviour Team, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy. They also consulted with family and spent considerable time with Amit to appreciate his perspective and wishes. This approach enabled an effective pace to be established in terms of expectations. Initial weeks were quite tricky for Amit and all concerned but gradually with regular review and consistent application of principles and approaches Amit began to appear more settled. He began to make different choices on a daily basis that made his life more comfortable and those around him less challenged by his presentation.

His clothing choices were much improved. The focus of his energy and behaviour was more appropriate, allowing him to interact with others in a more positive manner and engage in activities in a more productive manner. His mealtimes were more settled with everyone delighted he began eating well at a table.

The transformation in Amit’s presentation was quite remarkable and as a result of his ability to adapt and the well-planned consistent approach of the staff team, he made significant positive steps forward.

Whilst Amit will continue to need high levels of support, he now has a solid foundation from which he can develop further. His more settled, happier presentation can now facilitate the opening of new and exciting opportunities, that will enrich his life.