Surrey Choices is committed to developing staff skills in Positive Behaviour Support (or PBS). This helps the people they support get their needs met, remain in a content state and be most able to learn new skills.
‘Behaviour’s purpose is to get our needs met’ – these words help us think about what customers might need when they display challenging behaviour.
We are aiming for customers to spend over 70% of their time in this pro-active state. This helps each customer feel good about themselves and provides a better experience for other customers and staff.
One story about someone Surrey Choices supports shows how much of a difference PBS makes:
Before this person had a PBS action plan, she would often hit, kick, scream and spit, putting herself and others at risk. Behaviour assessments identified a possible medical cause, which she couldn’t articulate. They drew up an action plan for all staff to follow. This included a rotation of familiar staff throughout the day, adapting each activity to meet her needs, allowing her to move to quieter areas if she needed to.
All the centre staff followed the plan and the lady is now calmer and more socially appropriate in her behaviour. Her range of words has also increased and she now asks if she can join sessions by saying ‘And me?’
She is able to learn new skills and staff are thrilled she has now learnt to wash up her own cup, put laundry in the washing machine and join in more activities. When she does this, staff praise her to reinforce her positive behaviour.
As well as the customer feeling happier and this helping others around her, PBS staff are working with her family to improve her behaviours in all environments. The number of OSHENS has dropped from roughly three to four per day at the height of her behaviour to around one to two per week once the PBS action plan was used.
This is just one customer who has found her life (and that of others around her) improved by staff following her PBS action plan.
Surrey Choices are delivering PBS training, developing a network of PBS champions and a support structure for hands-on staff, to ensure every customer has the maximum chance to be their best self.