Discovery supports people with learning disabilities, autism, challenging behaviour and complex needs. We provide person-centred support packages; People with learning disabilities and their families are at the heart of everything we do and we want every person we support to have a great life, with excellent outcomes.
From intensive support for people with challenging behaviour, complex needs and profound and multiple learning disabilities to significant health needs, we always support people to be as independent as possible.
Discovery is a new social enterprise – and is a subsidiary of the Dimensions UK Group. We have been established to provide services across Somerset.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated April 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
We provide learning disability services, supporting adults to get more from their lives.
Our high quality support enables those with learning disabilities and or autism to have more choice and control over their lives, for them to be more fulfilling and to engage and be part of an inclusive society.
We want to provide more fulfilling activities including greater supported employment for those locally with learning disabilities. We wish to work in partnership with local organisations and companies to offer an employment programme, offering roles and jobs and apprenticeships.
We aim to give people with learning disabilities a louder voice in society through strong public affairs, campaigning and lobbying against activities such as “hate crime” and offering greater, more enhancing lives through better health and wellbeing. Ensuring health is at the centre of our learning disability support is a key focus for us.
We wish to build communities for those with learning disabilities, and to become an inclusive part of the local community and not to be resigned to segregated services away from circles of support.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
We have taken over the support of 900 people in Somerset with learning disabilities.
We are reviewing their quality of life, their support and activities which form their daily lives. We are reviewing the day service provision in Somerset, and designing new innovative methods of day support including developing a supported employment offering with local companies, creating new community hubs and activity plans for those currently in day services.
We are redesigning supported living accommodation, offering better and more appropriate housing to those who are confined to almost institutional living. We are giving choice to the people we support in who they live with and how they live.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
Individuals have more choice and control over their own lives. They are able to live more independently through being provided ‘just enough support’ as opposed to over supporting or under supporting.
We provide supported employment for those with learning disabilities, enabling companies to engage and benefit from those with unique and special talents, whilst undertaking their corporate social responsibilities.
Our work with people with challenging behaviour is key, and we are able to help those in crisis find a pathway forward. Working closely with commissioners we are able to innovate and develop new models of care to respond to the local demand.
We work closely with other health care and social care providers, forging links with professionals to improve social care standards in Somerset.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
We have only been operating for 9 months in Somerset, and we have just sent out our first set of surveys to our staff colleagues, the people we support and their families. This will provide our first benchmarking exercise with results due back in March/April 2018.
There is significant change happening for both the staff and the people we support over the coming months, and the survey results will provide our first sounding as to how the morale, the support and the change in provider is doing.
We will expect to report and monitor changes through: colleague recruitment and retention, an increase in satisfaction for the people we support. Greater engagement and involvement from families and friends and an overall satisfaction from our commissioners and stakeholders including our own boards.
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
- We support 900 people with a learning disability in Somerset. 500 of those attend our day services.
- We aim to provide supported employment to 30+ individuals by the end of April 2019.
- We provide health awareness and positive outcomes for the people we support, based around inclusion and personalisation in a society where everyone has equal opportunities to make life choices.
- We work in partnership with 815 families and relatives of the people we support, providing community based support and developing community hubs.
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
See HearSAY Magazine demonstrating our work for the people we support which includes case studies.
7) What additional social benefits have you been able to deliver within your core services that distinguish you from other “for shareholder profit” providers?
- Development of a crisis support model for people with Learning Disabilities in Somerset. (Potential £300k investment from our Group)
- Training for 1170 employees, including the care certificate. (Discovery anecdotally has the highest rate of care certificate holders in the UK)
8) What other social benefits have you contributed that go beyond your core delivery activities (ones that are completely unrelated to your main services)?
We are currently working on a review of our day service or day support provision. The proposed model is to develop stronger and deeper community links with local clubs, libraries, swimming pools, sport clubs, equestrian clubs, arts and crafts and other social clubs. We will be creating community hubs across Somerset to develop partnerships with these clubs to offer more meaningful and life fulfilling activities which the people we support can make part of their lives. In return we will invest in helping develop these hubs for use by the community in hiring rooms, widening supported employment activities and developing skills and training.
9) What social and environmental benefits have you created from internal operational policies and actions?
The introduction of GDPR regulation this year will change the landscape for data collation and retention. This is our prime focus in this operating year in terms of change in regulation.
We have introduced a strong quality and better practice initiative – aimed at raising the bar of quality for those being supported with a learning disability. This bar aims higher than existing CQC inspections, meaning better quality, health and safety outcomes for the people we support. This has been supported by a significant investment in our Behavioural support model, introduction of Better Practice Managers and Quality Checkers (who have a learning disability).
We employ those with learning disabilities into meaningful roles within Discovery as well as helping others find supported employment externally.