The Strengths Revolution’ weekly podcast show was launched on 22nd April 2014. Just go into iTunes Store, click the ‘Podcast’ link on the top menu, then put ‘The Strengths Revolution’ into the search box.

Listen, subscribe, and add a review if you feel able to. Remember… listening, downloading or subscribing to the show is FREE!

'Working with Strengths' was published in May 2014 as a comprehensive resource for reviewing the literature and reflecting on strengths-based practice as applied to people in contact with services, as well as the strengths-focused development of practitioners, teams and organisations. It draws on the wider business literature as well as health and social care references to broaden the applicability of the ideas.

'Risk Decision-Making' was published in 2013 to help shift the focus from a tick-box culture to the realities of what good practice should be about. The manual and cd-rom provide the resources that should engage senior management in organisations, as well as the practitioners and multidisciplinary teams.

June 2007 saw the publication of the Working With Risk Trainers Manual and Practitioner Manual through Pavilion Publishing. The Trainers Manual provides a flexible two-day training programme, with the option of using any of the individual sessions as stand-alone training resources. The Practitioner Manual provides a set of practice-based risk tools with supporting guidance on how and when to use each. These materials also aim to discuss some of the wider risk issues and identify a key part of current research and literature. The practice-based tools are also supported by completed case examples.

To make contact either send me a message via the 'Contact Me' form or (if it's urgent) you can call me on 07733 105264.

Practice Based Evidence commenced business in October 2001. Promoting the value of the messages from service users, carers and practitioners experiences. These are often marginalised by the emphasis placed on research.


 

Twitter
  • The Art of Co-ordinating Care: A Handbook of Best Practice for Everyone Involved in Care and Support
    The Art of Co-ordinating Care: A Handbook of Best Practice for Everyone Involved in Care and Support

    Jointly written by Practice Based Evidence & ARW, this resource is of importance to everyone in mental health, social care and learning disability services, including primary care.

  • Assertive Outreach: A Strengths Approach to Policy and Practice
    Assertive Outreach: A Strengths Approach to Policy and Practice

    Primarily aimed at developing assertive outreach, but its focus on a strengths approach is applicable to all parts of the mental health system.

Tuesday
Jun032014

Sacred Fools

Why listen to the self-styled publicity of the author when you can take the word of an independent expert? The following are extracts from the Foreword written by Professor Steve Onyett for this new book 'Working with Strengths':

Steve OnyettRadical in the sense of challenging the status quo. I love the notion of "funky" mental health services where we first break all the rules – not in a spirit of anarchy so much as in recognition of the fact that so many of our current assumptions simply don’t serve. We need more sacred fools who will run into the royal court and fart in front of the King or Queen in order to shake things up and reveal new and better ways.

There is no shortage of guidance around. There is a plethora of exhortations to be positive and focus on strengths from every direction. However, not so many get behind the rhetoric to look with clear and open eyes at how this plays out in reality. This requires that we look not just at what people say they do, but what they do do. It means that we need to look at what happens in practice and learn from that experience.

Steve Morgan is one of our greatest assets in this context. He has been at the forefront of the movement for strengths based practice in mental health services for a long time and has borne witness to both its successes and it’s disappointments. He has brought this invaluable perspective to bear here in a book that tells you pretty much everything there is to know about how things could be, while also equipping you for the stark realities of implementation in challenging contexts. He does this without judgement or cynicism, thereby leaving us with a sense of the possible and a range of first steps that we can take to make it happen. It has been said that a cynic is a passionate person that does not want to be disappointed again (Zander and Zander, 2000). Here Steve talks to the passion rather than the disappointment.

Sunday
Apr272014

Analogue man goes digital

On 22nd April 2014 ‘The Strengths Revolution’ podcast show launched… without any fanfares, major venues, or even a fireworks display. It is just great content brought to you for free from Practice Based Evidence productions, in association with Inspired Marketing productions, Libsyn Hosting, and to be found in the podcast section of the iTunes Store.

The intention is to offer approximately 15-minute weekly episodes (recognizing that your time is precious), usually on a Thursday (to coincide with that brighter end-of-week feeling), on all subjects ‘Strengths’ related, and reflecting much of the type of content you will find on this site.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to the iTunes Store now, click the podcast section, search for ‘The Strengths Revolution’, and enjoy. Then, please do me a favour by subscribing, downloading, and even reviewing particular shows. It will cost you very little time, and nothing financially! If you are a glass-half-full can-do sort of person, what could be better?

Monday
Feb032014

10th Birthday!

This website 'practicebasedevidence.com' reaches its 10th birthday on 5th February 2014, and in celebration I hand the main message over to a colleague from a blogging course in London last year, Peter Galvin (with his permission to use his thoughts). Peter is a recently retired Educational Psychologist, and his blog 'The Summerhouse Years' is an entertaining reflection on the first year of retirement. However, he does occasionally reflect back on his work, and a recent post of his pretty much sums up the philosophy of many messages here in Practice Based Evidence. I couldn’t put it better, so it’s over to Peter, where he uses the ADHD label to discuss the issues raised by the links between labels, drugs and profits in mental health… you can access the post on his blog at http://thesummerhouseyears.com/mental-health-adhd/

A 10th anniversary is as good a time as any to reflect on the messages that Practice Based Evidence was established to promote, and in particular the way those messages are communicated. This site has changed from a traditional website to more of a blog in structure during its 10 years, and many people connect with messages through different media, so keep an eye on this space for further evolution as Practice Based Evidence moves into its second decade.

Best wishes to all who land on this site and find something that educates or entertains,

Steve Morgan.

Tuesday
Jan212014

Values-Based Practice  

In 2013 Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust commissioned a piece of work from Practice Based Evidence and the Mental Health Foundation to explore ways in which ‘values-based practice’ can be practiced and evidenced more in the day-to-day work with service users and carers within the Adult Mental Health Directorate. So far, the programme has engaged with six pilot teams and produced a set of draft guidelines. In 2014 the programme will seek to explore innovative ways of implementing the ideas, and spreading ideas to staff in other directorates. Any page references will be referring to the draft guidelines document produced for the Trust, and as such will not be available in full here.

Why focus on Values-Based Practice?

They influence everything we think, decide and do in day-to-day practice, though often in a more sub-conscious way rather than overt statements and discussions. Good practice is not about adhering to one set of right values, we should respect and embrace values diversity. Values can be very personal, professional or organisational statements, but the focus here is on the values that underpin the day-to-day language of focusing on the needs and priorities of the individual service user. Practitioners need to be supported to be able to work where values of the service user, organisation, or professional may differ or conflict, See p.3 for a guide to the process of good values-based practice. A recent high profile report highlights the need to put this approach to values-based practice into context:

Francis Report into Stafford Hospital “People must always come before numbers. Individual patients and their treatment are what really matters. Statistics, benchmarks and action plans are tools not ends in themselves. They should not come before patients and their experiences. This is what must be remembered by all those who design and implement policy for the NHS.” Excerpt from press release statement by Robert Francis QC in Stafford (5/2/13)

Click here for the introduction to the guidelines document.

Click here for the report to Trust Managers.

Tuesday
Aug272013

Targeted training

In health and social care services we have a long tradition of adopting a scatter-gun approach to staff training. Perhaps this is why staff members often feel negative about mandatory training initiatives, or feel that provision is often made as a knee-jerk response to something going wrong. More generous feedback emerges from events that individual's have personally chosen to attend, but these often have little positive ripple effect out into the team they are part of... if you weren't there you simply aren't going to know much about it.

The Practice Based Evidence initiative has long tried to establish a strengths approach to training, as well as to working with service users. The essence is to get all team members to provide a baseline evaluation of the good and not so good practice in their team, against a series of positive statements of best practice that should be relevant to the way they work. Hence, several Practice Based Evidence tools were devised to address different types of teams and different person-centred approaches to working.

In the case of one of the Newham Community Mental Health Teams in 2006 an honest anonymised evaluation of team practice helped to identify the priorities for a subsequent 5-day programme tailored to their needs. This example illustrates how a practice development approach to training initiatives can respond to the needs identified by practitioners themselves, impact on the practice of a whole team, and engage people more in the process of change. This is how a strengths approach can apply as much to team development as it should do for working with service users. See also Take a picture of this for a larger initiative following a similar approach but capturing the evidence of positive change.