The Wellbeing team understands the importance of being well and ready to learn. St. John’s Wellbeing team includes positive behaviour support (PBS), psychology, and nursing.
We pride ourselves in supporting individuals to attain a level of health and wellbeing that enables each individual to engage effectively with their own learning. The positive behaviour support and psychology teams work with the wider therapy team, education, residential and nursing teams to ensure that all relevant information is contained with behaviour support plans (BSPs), ensuring consistency of approach and support for all learners.
Some of our learners also need support with their mental health and general wellbeing. The nursing team facilitate this for learners across all settings, including support to increase learner’s independence in administration of medication, epilepsy management, first aid and individual advice and guidance for learners to increase their knowledge and management of their health conditions.
What is PBS?
PBS is ‘an understanding of the behaviour of an individual’[i]. It is based on an assessment of the social and physical environment in which the behaviour happens, includes the views of the individual and everyone involved, and uses this understanding to develop support that improves the quality of life for the person and others who are involved with them.
Every learner receives input from the PBS team. The level of input will be decided at assessment stage and based upon pre-entry paperwork and information gathered from parents and previous placements. The model at St. John’s requires a trans-disciplinary approach, involving everyone who works with the individual, parents/carers and the learner to develop BSPs. Every learner has a BSP which identifies proactive strategies (that need to be in place at all times to reduce the likelihood of behaviours that challenge occurring), secondary strategies (to use when somebody is starting to become agitated, upset or anxious) and reactive strategies (only used when someone reaches crisis). Our aim is that 90% of the time is spent using proactive strategies that support the learner to feel safe and settled. This then allows for the opportunity to teach skills that will further enhance the learner’s quality of life.
The psychology team is supported by clinical psychologists, subcontracted by St. John’s, to deliver psychological support and input. Dr Bligh and Dr Tilley are registered clinical psychologists who established Making Sense Of It to provide clinical psychology services to children, young people, families, schools and colleges in the Sussex area.
The clinical psychology provision at St. John’s is delivered by Making Sense Of It. St. John’s has also employed three assistant psychologists to support the clinical psychology provision.
The main model of service delivery is consultation and multi-disciplinary working alongside St. John’s staff. The consultation model includes facilitating professional meetings with multi-disciplinary representation, where discussions about the learners take place. This is an opportunity for the staff supporting the young person to come together and think about any concerns relating to their psychological well-being or mental health and to develop a deeper understanding of the young person’s mental health needs and how to best support them within their educational setting. Summaries of these discussions and any actions are written up and shared with those supporting the young person at St. Johns.
We work closely with the PBS practitioners and other members of the well-being team (speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, nurses). We also meet regularly with members of St. John’s senior leadership team.
To enable the best use of time in the consultation meetings, there are a number of other tasks the psychology team undertake, before and after these meetings. These may include any of the following:
- Observation of the young person within the educational setting.
- Reading of relevant background information provided by St. John’s including reports from other professionals and services.
- Liaison with parents/carers and external professionals to gather additional information.
- Discussion with school/college staff who know the learner well – class tutor, teacher and keyworker.
The nursing team consists of two registered nurses, and three health care assistants (HCAs).
The nursing team offers health care advice and support to all learners, ensuring that their physical, emotional, and mental health needs are met. They regularly liaise with external professional teams, such as GPs, dentists, psychiatrists and other specialists. The nursing team also aid in the administration of medication and support the residential houses to ensure that all medication is administered safely and securely. Alongside this, the team support the wider staff teams by offering training and advice when required.
The aim of the team in to develop the learner’s understanding, independence and autonomy in managing their own health care needs.
Our highly qualified specialist Wellbeing teams have accrued
many years of experience in working with autistic children and young
people who also have learning disabilities and co-occuring conditions.
[i] BILD Positive Behaviour Support Jargon Buster