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Lifeways are committed to partnership working to deliver the right support in the right areas, and are delighted to announce a brand new partnership with Portsmouth City Council to deliver support to a specialist supported living service in the city. The service is a development of 9 apartments and is home to 22 individuals with a range of support needs.

Following a rigorous tender process, Lifeways was selected after outlining the exact steps needed to deliver person-centred support to each individual. There were numerous interviews with the commissioning and social workers involved in the service, all to ensure the Lifeways team had a complete understanding of the people living there and a plan for how their support could be safely transitioned to Lifeways.

As a new partnership, it was essential that Lifeways and Portsmouth City Council worked closely together to forge positive working practices, all embedded in clear and regular communication between teams. Lifeways welcomed the council’s approach to spend time within the service prior to our formal contract commencing. They were welcomed by the incumbent support team, and began a comprehensive review of the way the people there were supported, alongside all other functions involved in the running of the service.

With the commencement of support taking place on February 24th 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic has naturally impacted on staff, supported people and families in a way that was unforeseeable at the start of the year. Lifeways have therefore had to adapt the early stages of service management so as to protect the well-being of everyone – including daily calls and updates on the wellbeing of everyone living there, provision of suitable PPE and an increase in training so staff can best deal with the changes in routines that are necessary during lockdown.

Through a combination of the professionalism, compassion and leadership of our support and management team, along with outstanding support and communication from Portsmouth City Council, Lifeways are proud to have been able to successfully continue service delivery to a high standard during this challenging period.

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, a number of key service improvements were identified and implemented, including significantly increasing the time spent on site by Team Leaders, introducing a daily briefing on safeguarding, and focusing on tenant-specific training so our staff skills correspond to individual needs.

Additionally, Lifeways will continue to seek feedback from tenants, families and our partners at the Council to ensure a swift response to feedback in relation to any aspect of our support.

Ian Chalcroft, Integrated Learning Disability Services Manager for Solent NHS Trust, commented, “We are delighted to be working with Lifeways in our services for people with a range of complex support needs. This is at an early stage of our partnership but we have already been impressed by the energy and flexibility shown and we are already seeing great outcomes.”

Alac Pengelly, Regional Operations Director at Lifeways added, “We are proud to be the new support provider at this service and we look forward to many years of successful partnership with the supported individuals, families, the local community and Portsmouth City Council.”

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