Health and Care providers are governed by the CQC, the Care Quality Commission and we are all graded to a set of standards. SIL was rated Good [view our report here] in all areas at our last inspection.
But, at SIL, it’s not just about a set of standards to uphold or a badge to wear, we are passionate about the care we deliver. Our mission is “to enable people affected by disabilities to exercise choice and control, to live independent lives, and to actively participate in society”. This is why we have individually tailored support plans and get to know our service users. We use our partnerships with disability groups, local authorities and other agencies to promote disability and independence issues.
We pride ourselves on having our service users involved in the running of the organisation; they help us to understand the need for reliable, person-centred, adaptable staff who are prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ and they help to shape the services we offer.
Working with people with different disabilities and needs has taught us the need for individual tailored care and an adaptable service. No two people are the same and needs change. Our support plans are created with you, your family and input from medical experts where appropriate. They are not static documents and are open to change as required.
We have consistently won in the Hereford Times Health and Social Care Awards most recently in 2022 when one of colleagues, Aggie, won the Care Hero Award and Linda Jones was a finalist in the Care at Home award. Last year SIL was also voted the Best Place to Work in Health & Social Care. In 2020 all three finalists in the homecare category were SIL support workers.
In 2020 Support Worker Ruth Davies not only won the HT HSC award but the Sunshine Radio Care worker of the year award.
We think that our staff excel at what they do not only because of the comprehensive training every employee goes through but because we recruit people with the right qualities from the start. We look for empathetic, caring, polite and respectful candidates and train them to understand all aspects of care. From first aid and safety in the home, to how to ensure choice is respected and dignity is upheld at all times. All employees go through regular updates in training keeping their knowledge up to date and fresh in the mind. All carers will then job shadow existing staff before working with clients alone; learning on the job and from experienced staff.
In our 2022 satisfaction survey 100% of responses from our service users showed they felt our support workers are kind, polite and caring and 100% felt treated with respect in a way that protects dignity and privacy.
We are also happy to say that we regularly receive compliments like the one below:
“Thank you for the wonderfully caring ideas. They all sound great I’m really moved by the care and thought you all take. We are very lucky to have found you all, it’s such a relief that mum is showing gratitude rather than being aggressive or paranoid- long may that last and she can stay at home.”
“Thanks for all the other good work yourself and SIL do for Mum and Dad.”
SIL is a registered not for profit charity meaning that our profits are used to enhance and develop new services to benefit the individuals we support.
“I would not hesitate to recommend SIL.
I had been looking after Mum for 18 months since she developed vascular dementia. I arranged for a friend and a cousin to support her during the day until I finished work and then I would go and stay with her until 7.30 pm, prepare food and settle her for the night. She was then on her own until 8.00 am.
She had some falls, nothing major (in that nothing was broken) but each time her confidence was knocked and I worried about her. I visited Mum twice a day at weekends which was manageable until Mum fell against a radiator sustaining a third degree burn. After a two-week stay in hospital, where her health started to deteriorate, I realised that she needed to be home in familiar surroundings, so I brought her back to live with me, until her health improved. However, I soon realised she was not going to be able to be left alone again. Apart from four mornings a week when I was at work and others supported Mum, I cared for her. My husband was incredibly supportive but it put a strain on our relationship, as Mum’s needs took priority.
My life changed considerably. I could no longer make arrangements with friends or go away with my husband. Caring for an elderly relative is draining. With the best intention in the world, you can find yourself becoming irritable and end up resenting the person you are caring for. If it is a parent, you end up hating yourself every time you snap or become impatient. You go through a whole range of emotions, which saps your energy and leaves you exhausted, particularly if your sleep is disturbed.
I got in touch with Services for Independent Living who talked to me about Mum’s needs, got to know her personality and found out what was important to her. They organised a team of Support Workers to support her from Sunday to Wednesday, in her own home, while I worked.
This made a huge difference to my life. I no longer felt alone with a burden of responsibility for Mum’s care and support. My husband and I were able to have some quality time together and I was able to concentrate on work, knowing that Mum was in good hands.
I also got to know the support workers as individuals and found them to be trustworthy, competent, and patient. They communicated well with me and mum and went ‘the extra mile’, keeping the house tidy and Mum happy. Most important of all, they supported Mum’s continued quality of life at home, keeping her out of a nursing home. My time spent with Mum was quality time meaning I would be more even-tempered and tolerant, knowing that I had three days to my husband and myself, while Mum was in her own home and being well looked after.
I cannot thank Services for Independent Living enough for all the support they have given me and would not hesitate to recommend their services to anyone who is struggling to care for an elderly dependant.”
We could not have found a better company to organise mum’s care. Everyone has been kind, very caring and has truly had mum’s welfare in their heart.