We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best possible user experience. Disabling these cookies may prevent our site from working efficiently. To find out more about our cookies read our privacy policy.

Partnership aims to bring better homecare re-ablement in York

York St John University and the City of York Council are celebrating the success of their first Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which has been set up to help improve the independence, confidence and mobility of people in York who use homecare re-ablement services.

A KTP supports businesses wishing to improve their competitiveness, productivity and performance by using knowledge and expertise from UK universities and colleges.

The KTP between the University and Council has been a two year initiative that has enabled the development of a training programme accredited by York St John University and delivered by Occupational Therapy staff at City of York Council. The aim of the programme is to introduce social care staff to the re-ablement approach and empower them to embrace the culture within their own practice. Re-ablement is about changing the culture of homecare, putting much more focus on engaging with service users to regain skills, and by helping service users to identify meaningful goals.

Wendy O’Connor, the re-ablement development project leader working with York St John University, said: “Previously homecare has been solely focussed on doing things for the customer such as assisting with showering, meal preparation or dressing. This training programme is about encouraging staff to think differently, and help the customer to be as independent as possible following a period of illness or other crisis. 

“The training helps to develop a toolkit for workers to use, including telecare, equipment and re-ablement techniques, such as helping customers to establish more energy efficient routines or changing how tasks are done in order to make them easier or safer. Changing culture is difficult, and cannot be done purely by training, but engaging all services in the approach will help to embed the concept.”

An event to celebrate the KTP and the achievement of those who have undertaken the training took place at York St John University on Tuesday 4 September. Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, and Professor David Fleming, Vice Chancellor of the University, presented certificates to the members of staff who have successfully completed the training programme. This included City of York Council care managers, occupational therapy assistants and mobile wardens, as well as staff from the re-ablement service at HSG Reable.

Kersten England said: “While culture change is not just about training, this programme has been a great opportunity to link up practitioners with expertise in the University and look at changing the ethos around how people are supported. This work is a good example of how we can work in partnership across the city to provide positive outcomes.”

Picture shows: Professor David Fleming and Kersten England with City of York Council staff who have successfully completed the training programme.