A set of twins who have had very different lives have been brought back closely together – thanks to an Essex social care provider.
Although the lives of Pav Hughes and her brother, Jags Kalsi, are worlds apart, they both have one thing in common – Outlook Care.
Outlook Care provides support and care to people with a learning disability, those with mental health needs and older people across London and Essex.
Pav, who has worked in the health and social care sector for 10 years, joined Outlook Care as a service manager in Havering and Waltham Forest in 2013.
And while her career was progressing well, the life of her brother Jags, was markedly different. Jags, who has a learning disability, autism and OCD, was looking for a new home after the relationship with his previous care provider came to an end.
Jags was looking for a provider who could engage with him in a creative way, and enable him to communicate his choices in a positive way and learn boundaries when interacting with his local community.
It was during this time that Pav started her journey with Outlook Care. She says she had initially been attracted to working for the organisation after reading CQC reports, and was impressed by the level of service user involvement in the recruitment process.
Pav and her family insisted that Jags was assessed by Outlook Care, and the family came into contact with regional manager, Darren Osborne, who was a challenging behaviour specialist at the time, and chief executive, Piotr Rejek.
Speaking of the family’s initial contact with Outlook Care, Pav says:
“Having had numerous discussions with Darren; I was impressed with his knowledge and experience in his field. He asked all the right questions, said all the right things and gave a good impression of Outlook Care.
“I recall Piotr emphasising the importance of working with the family, as well as the importance of empowering Jags. However I remained apprehensive; our trust in social care was broken as we had previously been through this process with many providers.”
In July 2013, Outlook Care assessed Jags and confirmed it could meet his needs, and a support package was agreed. The assessment had revealed that Jags was not interacting or socialising, due to the fact that he was spending the majority of his time in bed. He had been given little involvement in his own care and support, and had limited independent living skills and low self-esteem.
The family were involved in the recruitment process for Jags’ staff team, with Jags sitting on the interview panel and having the final say in selecting the people who would be supporting him.
Jags’ journey with Outlook Care to date has been very positive and he’s made significant progress. Jags’ medication has been reduced, and his behaviours are now managed by comprehensive guidelines and a well-trained staff team. As a result of this, the number of incidents has dramatically decreased. Jags has also achieved a number of his personal goals, including volunteering regularly in a charity shop and completing a number of college courses, including cookery and IT.
Speaking of the pair’s positive journey with Outlook Care, Pav says:
“Learning and experiencing social care through my very close bond with Jags has helped shape me as a professional. He is my inspiration in everything I do – he is always at the back of my mind. I want to lead services that I would feel comfortable for my relative to live in.
“Outlook Care is very good at developing customer led services, by going back to the people we support and their families when shaping the support – this I believe is the key ingredient to a successful care provider.
“We recently reviewed Jags’ progress, which included our family and staff coming together to reflect with Jags, and all of his achievements over the past two and a half years. We concluded that Jags is safe, healthy, seems happy and that he is enjoying life and exploring new things – which is everything we could ask for.”