For those of you who are not familiar with the Expert by Experience role it involves a person we support visiting services, talking to staff and the people we support and completing a checklist which reflects the quality of the support being provided. Through these audits we gain the valuable perspective of a person who uses MacIntyre services and their opinion on how we provide support to others.

Kate was the person we identified and when she was asked she agreed straight away. Kate engaged really well throughout the process of learning her new role; we started off with weekly sessions where we looked at the guidance explaining what she would need to do and the checklist she would need to complete each time we did an audit.  

Kate immediately had an excellent understanding of what good support and bad support looked like and I really needed to do very little mentoring to help her understand what was expected of her. We also did some work around confidentiality and acting in a professional way.

When Kate was ready and it came to our first audit she was really excited, she had bought herself a new suit and looked really professional. The audit was a success and Kate did a fantastic job.

Kate has showed a real aptitude for the Great Interactions™ skills that we usually expect to see from staff: when Kate is asking questions during the audits she positions herself well, makes eye contact and gives the person opportunity to answer in their own time.

Kate listens to what people have to say and even if there are communication difficulties she will still direct questions to the person being supported and not just talk to the support worker. Kate makes observations during the audits and is able to identify when the staff are using their Great Interactions skills and when they’re not.

It has been a great experience getting to know Kate and really interesting to see how the Great Interactions skills are not just something for us to train our staff in but something that can have real meaning and be applied in day to day life.

Colin Adams

Frontline Manager, Bedfordshire