I came into this post from a Sports Trust where I developed programmes for older adults and people with long term health conditions, not from a post in the care sector, so it’s been a huge learning curve. In the Sports Trust, one of the key elements to developing new programmes in a sustainable way was working with partners and not trying to do everything yourself as an individual or as an organisation.
This mirrors really well the approach we are taking with CAPA – learning collaboratively and working together to problem solve. This is one of the things I enjoy most about being part of the CAPA team – supporting staff in the sector to share and learn with each other – seeing that lightbulb moment when someone realises that through having a conversation they might not otherwise have had, that they have a solution to a challenge or a partner to develop an idea with.
Seeing the fantastic work being done within care partners across the two areas I support (Aberdeenshire and Inverclyde) has shown me the real difference that the CAPA Programme has been able to make to care staff confidence. Increased knowledge around what physical activity actually is to an older adult, trying out different ways to evidence improvements, developing new sustainable community links and increased self-awareness are some of the ways I have seen staff develop since the beginning of the CAPA Programme.
The role of an improvement adviser is sometimes to ask the challenging questions but always to support learning through sharing. This approach isn’t always easy in the care sector but it’s really starting to have a positive effect. Working with CAPA partners I am seeing the changes happening all the time, from supporting a resident to get back to her room more independently so that she can use her own toilet, to linking with community events like Boogie in the Bar, care staff are really making a difference.