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Mentaur News Special Supplement Academics Research Awards February

Dementia Care Awards 2011

Aurora House Finalist Best Interior Design Award

Also inside

A new tool for Autism Safeguarding project and working group


Contents Editorial Conference Programme

Cover: Mentaur’s representatives at the National Dementia Care Awards 2011

A new tool for Autism Safeguarding Project and working group Article: Growing older with Autism MCS Services Mentaur services Aurora House: Mentaur’s new provision for dementia Dementia Care Awards - Aurora House Article: The growth of dementia in LD Workshops and Conferences ERASMUS and Leonardo da Vinci Programmes

Mentaur News Design Loreto Soto Ponce Content Shekhar Mukherji Isabel Melo Loreto Soto Ponce Herculano Castro

Address Suite G2, Barratt House Kingsthorpe Road Northampton NN2 6EZ Tel: 01604 717249 E-mail:

Editor Shekhar Mukherji


EDITORIAL Friends, Once again I find myself looking to the New Year with optimism. We are privileged to be in a sector where we are able to work with so many remarkable people; we are also together thinking on long term issues with so many challenges ahead. We need to be dynamic and positive in these challenging, difficult and demanding times. Our goal will be good governance, progress and growth. With this in mind we will provide an enabling environment that delivers choice, personalisation and diversity. Along with the British Institute of Learning Disability, I am pleased to be able to welcome all of you to our latest national conference on autism and the needs of a growing older population with ASD in the U.K.. We feel that this is an area whose time has come for reasoned discussion and debate, and for pushing policy makers to recognise the changing needs of this special group of people. Mentaur will be introducing a new quality measuring tool for people with ASD in 2012 and the details can be found in the pages that follow. This tool will be available free of cost to all those working with ASD. We intend to further develop our research and academic activities in this and related areas and continue to apply our results and findings to the benefit of those with disabilities. With the best of wishes for the year ahead

Isabel Melo, MIOD Operational Director The Mentaur Group


National Conference

3 February 2012

My life as I get older age, autism and wellbeing As we age our needs change, and as people with autism age, their needs change too. Quality research into these changing needs is limited, but what there is confi rms our need for a better understanding of these issues. Organisations and individuals involved with supporting older people with autism have few opportunities to enhance their understanding and knowledge of this subject. This important national conference on “ageing and autism” has been organised by BILD and the Mentaur Group to provide exactly such an opportunity. The day includes presentations from leading national figures in the field and practical workshops to share ideas and examples of good practice. Expected Beneficiaries


Managers and staff of services supporting people with autism

Local authority and health commissioners and care managers responsible for autism services in their area

Managers and support workers in domiciliary and residential provider organisations working with people with autism

Health professionals working in hospitals and autism-linked community teams

Families of older people with autism

People with autism

Expected outcomes for delegates •

Understanding the perspective of an older person with autism

Relevant person-centred approaches in support planning for older people with autism

Current research and evidence in issues related to autism and ageing

Quality of life issues and quality of life measuring instruments for older people with autism

Governmental approaches and policies affecting outcomes in the area

Recruiting and training the workforce to provide appropriate and individual support

An understanding of how to deliver a variety of different service and support models

Programme Friday 3 February 2012 9.00

Coffee & Registration


Conference opening Shekhar Mukherji, Mentaur Group




The Autism Act and the future for older people with autism Carol Povey, The Centre for Autism, NAS Autism and ageing – risks and opportunities Adam Feinstein, journalist, author and autism researcher


Tea & Coffee


My life as I get older John Booker, a person with autism


Workshops (Choice of 1 to 4)



Workshops (as above repeated)


Tea and Coffee


Autism and ageing - reviewing the research Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska, Newcastle University


Memory, ageing and autism Dermot Bowler, City University, London


Plenary Michael Swaffield, NHS Autism Lead



1. Developing a quality of life measuring tool for older people with autism Herculano Castro, Autism Lead, Mentaur Group 2. Multimedia advocacy for older people with Autism, Gosia Kwiatkowska, Rix Centre 3. Developing your workforce to support older people with autism Lesley Barcham and Jackie Pountney, BILD 4. Personalised support for older people with autism John Booker and Andrew Barlow, Liverpool Asperger Team, Merseycare NHS Trust

Mentaur’s Core Conference Group Back row: (L-R) Shekhar Mukherji, Isabel Melo and Herculano Castro Front row: (L-R) Loreto Soto Ponce and Monica Melo


A new tool for autism By Herculano Castro

Mentaur, in conjunction with the Spanish organisation Autismo Burgos and the University of Burgos has been working on developing a U.K. specific instrument which measures a comprehensive set of quality (of life) outcomes in people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)


obert Schalock defined quality of life as a concept that reflects the conditions of life desired by a person in connection with eight basic needs: emotional well being, relationships, material welfare, personal development, physical well being, self determination, social inclusion and rights.

Validated and reliable tools to measure quality of life outcomes in persons with ASD are in short supply. The difficulties in assessing these outcomes from a subjective perspective make it necessary to find valid objective quality of life indicators. Mentaur is developing a U.K. specific instrument, in collaboration with the University of Burgos and Autism Burgos, Spain, who have been working in this area. Objectives

ü To design an instrument made up of an objective guide of indicators to assess quality of life outcomes in persons with ASD ü To adjust and validate this tool to make it U.K. specific. ü To provide this tool free of cost to all professionals and organisations who want to introduce quality of life based models, in advancing and enriching the quality of support for persons with ASD. Methods The original Guide of Indicators was translated from Spanish to English and re-translated to Spanish to ensure accuracy. Certain cultural contextual changes were made. A qualitative research method, the Delphi technique -where a group of experts, co-ordinated by the chief researcher and through the successive sending of data, reach an agreed consensus- is being used to validate the Guide of Indicators. A panel of experts has been selected across the UK from a wide range of fields within the ASD and a series of consultations are being carried out via email over a period of six months. Results The instrument and application manual being developed comprise of indicators which drive outcomes and are grouped into 6 areas:

ü Quality in reference to the individual and needs assessment ü Developing and following up on personal development plans. ü Staff training. ü Structure and organisation of service. ü Human resources, materials and spaces. ü Contact with the community and social empowerment. Each indicator is made up of four evidences or tests which help evaluate and quantify the indicator. Preliminary results indicate that while there is concurrence with many of the indicators in several areas there is divergence surrounding issues such as information provided to users, extent of family involvement, level of choice, staff training and advocacy. Conclusions Final conclusions will be available on completion of the project in March 2012. We believe there will be unique features to this tool which will surmount, for example, the serious communication difficulties which persons with ASD often have, and will allow a comprehensive and objective overview on quality of life outcomes.


Safeguarding Project Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults that’s our commitment! “It is the responsibility of each organisation to ensure that it has a workforce development plan that includes appropriate competencies of staff and volunteers in relation to 'Safeguarding Adults' work. Staff will need different competencies depending on whether, for example, they are frontline staff or managers. All people working in the organisation must be able to recognise abuse and neglect and know how to make effective reports.” Safeguarding Adults – A National Framework of Standards for good practise and outcomes in adult protection work

In line with the Mentaur Group’s zero tolerance towards any kind of abuse, we have launched a package of initiatives that reflect our commitment to ensure the safeguarding of those using our services.

The Safeguarding Project The Safeguarding Project was developed between March and September 2011 as a supervised project carried out by Teresa Oliveira, a European Social Work intern who came to Mentaur through the Leonardo da Vinci programme. For the project, Teresa used the Safeguarding Adults Competencies Framework developed by the Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough Multiagency Group. This tool allowed an extensive assessment of Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA) awareness and qualifications throughout Mentaur's workforce. The research method used for collecting data was the application of semi-structured interviews. Interviews were carried out in each unit which allowed the direct observation of individual behaviours and daily routines. Managers were also asked to assess their own staff based on their personal knowledge of them and through structured observation. Integrating direct observation and personal interviews through the project allowed us to cover gaps between what people say they do, or are likely to do, and their actions in practise. Interview guides were produced at the beginning of the project, which described an expected answer for each question, taking into consideration relevant legislation and official documents regarding Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults. These interview guides were prepared in line with Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire safeguarding policies and were also used as an evaluation framework to assess if staff members fully met, or partly met each competence, or whether evidence was unavailable to ascertain this. Individual interviews were carried out in all units and all managers carried out their own assessments separately, in relation to each staff member interviewed. This was later compared with the results from the interviews and led to a balanced assessment of result. After all the data was collected and analysed, individual and group results were displayed and, where applicable, recommendations suggested and action plans implemented. A full report on the findings of this study is being prepared and will be published shortly.

Mentaur’s Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults Working Group The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA) Working Group was created to reflect the company's statement of “Zero Tolerance” regarding SOVA related malpractice involving our users of service and to promote continuous SOVA awareness within its workforce and users of service. During the first two meetings of the SOVA Working Group the operational director, service managers, the training manager and the HR Manager participated. The group will now be enlarged to include representatives from users of service, unit managers and junior staff. The SOVA Working Group will meet every two months with the brief of not only assuring safeguarding issues but also continuing research and the development of innovative strategies in the area. 7

Reproduced with permission from Care Management Matters




MCS Services Mentaur Community Support Ltd (MCS) is an integral part of the Mentaur Group. We offer home and community based services both in supported living and domiciliary settings.


MCS provides specialist services to people with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, mental health issues, dementia and older people. We have experience in supporting people with, among others, forensic needs and sexual disorders.

MCS currently operates in Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire on a 24/7 basis. We are providing supported living services in two locations, one in Lumbertubs, Northampton and the other in Kempston, Bedford We support our clients with the following: Personalised support with every day tasks through gentle encouragement and prompting to actual assistance. Doing with clients things like housekeeping, cooking, managing medication; and budgeting. Personalised support within the community, determining the appropriate places for added or specialised support, booking and attending appointments and accessing employment and occupational engagements. Personalised support in socialising and leisure activities, weekly appointments with interest groups or a pub night or long desired special occasions like day trips and plays, sporting events etc.


Personalised support with developing and maintaining relationships and working within set boundaries, where applicable, while in the community Support with satisfying police, probation, court or home office related requirements, if applicable, while in the community.


Mentaur Services Specialist Services in Northamptonshire The Berkeley, Northampton An established specialist unit for people with a learning disability, epilepsy, ASD, mental health and older people’s needs.

Stoke House, Northampton Reputed unit in a listed Victorian house of great charm and character offering specialist services for people with complex needs and behaviour that may challenge.

Highfield , Northampton A specialist unit for adults with learning difficulties, ASD and mental health needs.

Rushwell House, Rushden A specialist unit for adults with learning disability, ASD, older people’s (including physical disability) and mental health needs. There is separate small unit within the home which allows service users to live independently while benefiting from the support of the care home staff.

Wilton House , Northampton A unique transitional unit with a focus on enhancement of independent living and social skills. For younger adults with a learning disability, ASD, mental health and associated needs.

Mentaur Day Opportunities Resource Centre (MDORC), Northampton Located adjacent to the community facilities of Kingsthorpe and a short distance from Northampton Town Centre, the MDORC serves as a hub of diverse activity and a base for utilising local community resources.

Rushden Day Opportunities Resource Centre (RDORC), Rushden As part of Mentaur’s expanding profile of cutting edge services, a new day opportunities service is available adjacent to the community facilities and town centre of Rushden. 12

Specialist Services in Leicestershire

Herons Lodge , Market Harborough Herons lodge is a spacious family home with multiple living areas and a large walled garden. The house provides a unique blend of community access and privacy for people with learning disability, ASD, mental health and older people’s (including physical disability) needs.

Specialist Services in Bedfordshire

Lotus House , Bedford Lotus House provides a specialist service for people with learning difficulties and a high level of associated complex needs including mental health problems, ASD, Epilepsy and behaviour which challenges.

Aurora House , Bedford Aurora House is a small specialist facility tailored for 7 adults with learning difficulties who have dementia.

Lavanda Villa , Kempston Lavanda Villa is a small specialist unit that provides tailored specialist care to adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and learning difficulties.

Chantry Road , Kempston Opening Soon! Chantry Road will provide tailored specialist care to young adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and learning difficulties.


Aurora House:

Mentaur’s New Provision for Dementia On 1st November 2011, the Mentaur group opened Aurora House, a specialist residential facility for seven people with a learning disability and dementia. Located in Bedford, the home provides a bespoke service for seven individuals with these dual disabilities. The unit provides a domestic scale environment along with a cutting edge design with particular attention to sensory impact, safety and freedom of movement. With the life expectancy of people with learning disabilities having doubled in the last 25 years there is now a paucity and pressing need for this type of service, particularly for people with Down's Syndrome.

Aurora House

Sensory features have been included to facilitate recognition

The open plan area provides a variety of sitting choices that allow users of service to have visual access to the outside world

The sunroom connects with the open plan living area and it’s located at the front of the house with large windows.

The open plan kitchen leads to the living area giving users of service the opportunity to engage in food preparation

Whenever possible beds are located to facilitate users of service direct view of their WC in their en-suite bathroom

All bathrooms are en-suite with walk-in showers and features that facilitate easy movement and recognition of individual fittings.

If you would like a copy of Aurora House booklet please email Alternatively you can see the digital copy of the booklet at the following web address: 14

Aurora House Finalist at the Dementia Care Awards! We are proud to announce Aurora House’s nomination to the National Dementia Care Awards 2011. This unique facility, specially developed for people with a learning disability and dementia, was a finalist in the Best Interior Dementia Design category, in competition with all generic dementia facilities nationwide. The awards ceremony took placeat Liverpool's Crowne Plaza Hotel on Wednesday 2nd November 2011 . The home was represented by Isabel Melo, Operational Director; Louise Gardner, Service Manager; Monica Melo, Purchasing Manager and Brian Russell and Ashley Stokes from Roger Coy Partnership, the architects in charge of the project. Aurora House was completely redesigned and refurbished in accordance with the needs of people with a learning disability who have dementia. This gives the home unique tools to cope with the complexities of the relationship between the physical environment and the care that takes place within it.

Brian, Monica, Louise, Ashley and Isabel at the Awards Ceremony



Reproduced with permission from Care Management Matters



Workshops & conferences In 2011 The Mentaur Group conducted workshops on The Growth of Dementia in Learning Disabilities at two conferences organised by the publication, Care Management Matters (CMM). The first was at the ‘Care Opportunities Convention’ on 7th June 2011 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel and then again at The Future of Learning Disability Care Convention on 8th September 2011 at The Midland Hotel, Manchester. On both occasions, Shekhar Mukherji & Isabel Melo discussed ideal standards for services supporting people with a learning disability and dementia. These related to Assessment, Design, Staffing, Care & Support among others.

Care Opportunities Convention

If you would like to access the workshop presentation, please visit our website www.

Mentaur Contributes to the professional future of the EU


s part of Mentaur’s commitment to the development of fresh graduate students, we embarked on a project to work in conjunction with European universities and provide placements for students who want to pursue a career in Social Work or Human Resources The Leonardo da Vinci Programme funds practical projects in the field of vocational education training and one of their initiatives is to give individuals work-related training abroad. The ERASMUS Programme is similar, although it mainly concentrates on the European Higher Education Area and aims to foster innovation throughout Europe. Thanks to the Leonardo da Vinci Programme, in the past couple of years, European Social Work students have experienced first hand the challenges and rewards of work in social care in the UK through internships at Mentaur. Through the ERASMUS Programme HR trainees are able to experience first hand the day to day dynamics of working in a HR department in the UK and are allotted special projects to carry out. They are encouraged to put into practice the knowledge they acquired as students. The aim of both programmes is to support and complement the activities of the European Union members to improve the quality of policies and training practices, which is why the programmes promote the cooperation of all those involved in the development of education and training. The project has been a great success for the company and we take pride in being able to do our bit and contribute to the professional future of the EU. 19

Mentaur Ltd Suite G2 Barratt House Kingsthorpe Rd Northampton NN2 7HY T: E: W:

01604 717249

MCS Ltd 1 & 2 Harpur House 62 Harpur Street Bedford MK40 2RA T: E: W:

01604 777856

Mentaur Group News - Special Suplement  

Mentaur Group Newsletter - Published in February 2012

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