It’s been a year since the Hub Group has been regularly reviewing the management of ARK from the point of view of people who get support. The group works together to scrutinise ARK policy and practice in both their housing and support services, to hold senior managers accountable and to try to make things better. They have accomplished some great things over the past year! By meeting every two months at ARK’s head office in Edinburgh, people travel from all around Scotland to discuss issues that concern them.
So far the group has:
- Raised concerns that not all people who get support are fully involved in recruiting new staff, for example in shortlisting and being on interview panels. This has led to a review of the Recruitment Policy, which the HUB Group and others will be involved in. Using the Charter for Involvement as a guide, the Hub Group has made suggestions as to how recruitment processes can be changed to allow people who ARK supports to have more involvement in choosing the staff who support them.
- Developed a system for tracking issues they have raised with ARK management. The group spent time thinking about a good way to track the progress of commitments management have made to look into the issues that are of concern to the Hub Group.
- Created a system to raise service concerns with ARK management based on the Care Inspectorate’s care standard grading scale. Where the Hub Group find services are just adequate (grade 3) weak (grade 4) or unsatisfactory (grade 5), they will raise this with ARK management for discussion.
- Kept an overview of everything happening in ARK so they can identify trends and raise them with senior management.
By putting these things in place and by creating a different relationship with ARK, the group has also been able to identify what ARK is able to change and what is largely out of their control. Recent examples of this are concerns the group had about the length of time it can take to carry out medical adaptations, or to fill a vacancy and the challenges in recruiting staff, all issues that are impacted by much bigger things at a Council or national level. The HUB Group are therefore raising these concerns in a letter to Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison MSP, for her comment.
From internal and local issues to exernal and national issues, the Hub Group is making big impact by making their voices heard and being active citizens. Here’s to another year of Hub Group involvement!
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