With an ethos of maximising client achievement and potential, Westcountry Case Management is determined to make life after serious injury as fulfilling as it possibly can be – and, as part of that, regularly enables clients to go on holidays. Here, NR Times learns more about the approach of Westcountry – winner of Case Management Company of the Year in the NR Times Awards – and how regaining as much of a client’s life as they had planned it is at the core of what motivates them
“At the core of everything we do is putting a person back to where they should have been in their lives, as if their injury didn’t happen. We don’t want activities to be seen as being unusual, or unexpected in the day-to-day lives that they have now – we want them to live as they would have done”
That philosophy underpins the work of Westcountry Case Management in their commitment to maximising independence for clients after life-changing injury, and supporting them to recover as much of what they enjoyed pre-injury as possible.
For almost 20 years – the milestone anniversary is in May – Westcountry has been by the sides of clients with complex and challenging needs and their families, helping them to rebuild their lives with an emphasis on supporting them to achieve dreams and aspirations. Both the business director, Wendy Hill and clinical lead, Anita Pascoe, will also mark two decades this year.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the commitment of Westcountry – part of Active Care Group (ACG) – to enabling clients to go on holidays to destinations around the world, living out their ambitions irrespective of how much support and painstaking planning that may need.
Westcountry, named Case Management Company of the Year in the inaugural NR Times Awards – the first award the company has ever entered – was hailed by judges for their clear client commitment, with the delivery of holidays hailed as “really exceeding, going that extra mile”.
While a hugely challenging undertaking for the team, if it’s possible, then it’s doable, according to Wendy.
“We’ve just had an instance of a young guy who has been with us for probably 15 years, and he wants to experience the world, he wants to achieve his dreams,” she says.
“And after two years of planning, we enabled him to go and swim with dolphins in Lanzarote,
“This is a very, very complex client and it is very challenging for him going to go abroad with his support team. it’s challenging for his care team to take him. But at no point would we ever say it wasn’t possible, absolutely not. He wanted to do it, so after a massive amount of work in making it possible, it has happened.
“It’s special for us all seeing the photos of him on his trip, that was a life’s ambition for him and he’s just lived it. It’s something we’re all proud of, and especially his case manager Anita, who has done such an amazing job.”
WATCH: Jakko Brouwers of Morrello, which sponsored the NR Times Case Management Company of the Year Award, on the category and the winner:
Nemone Jakeman, registered manager at Westcountry, highlights the level of preparation that goes into making a client’s dream possible.
“We have a client who wants to go to Disneyland, but that would not be possible at the current time,” she says.
“However, we’re putting those stepping stones in place by doing smaller trips. He has been to London UK cities for a couple of weekends and he is going away toon Haven caravan holidays, so we’re building up to the bigger picture and the ultimate dream of going to Florida Disney.
“We’ll always do absolutely everything we can to enable what a client wants. We have a client from Afghanistan and another from Iran, which adds the added complexity of them going to somewhere that is not designated as a safe country by the British foreign office. There are a lot of challenges involved in any trip, but particularly ones of that kind.”
Wendy continues: “These trips can genuinely be years in the making, there is a huge amount to factor in and a lot of risks to consider.
“We need to think about a person’s behaviour, the support they’ll need, the culture of the place they’re wanting to go to. Will they be going with family members or do they need a support team? There is a huge amount of work in terms of HR and professional boundaries.
“Then you have to factor in the processes in place. What happens if they get stuck there? What happens if there is an incident? How do we get the necessary equipment out there with them?
“There is so much to consider and it can be a long process, and sometimes because it takes so long you maybe do lose sight of the end goal. But when you see the photos or hear the feedback from someone who has been away, you are reminded how amazing this all really is.
“It’s actually a really small part of what we do as case managers, and this has been a massive learning curve for us to enable this piece of work and to ensure it’s safe for everybody we are always developing and monitoring to improve the process of enabling clients to go away. We’re delighted we are able to provide this service enabling this for so many clients.”
A seasoned case management company, Westcountry continues to grow across the South West of England and South Wales, and is passionate about the development of the wider case management sector.
“We are really, really passionate, not just about supporting our clients, but in trying to increase knowledge and good practice across the board,” says Wendy.
“We’re interested at the forefront of good practice in case management. We work closely with the other case management companies within ACG, this collaborative approach it works really well, and it’s great to see how we all interlink.
“At Westcountry, we’ve just done a really great piece of work completed some excellent guidance on suicide – which was signed off by our chief medical officer at ACG, who is an experienced consultant forensic psychiatrist who used to work at Broadmoor, so a hugely experienced person – the guidance which was presented to external parties and other case management companies, because through sharing knowledge we are it in that way it is actually benefiting the client.
“And ultimately, that’s what it’s about.”
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