How long have you been supporting people with spinal injuries?

We have been supporting people with spinal cord injuries since 2011, we have a full understanding of how challenging sustaining a spinal injury is to you both physically and emotionally and we appreciate this affects you and people close to you.

Are you regulated? If so who with?

Spinal Injury Support is a division of Bespoke Health & Social Care. Bespoke is regulated by CQC, our last inspection was good and we are regularly in touch with the CQC to ensure we maintain standards and continually review our policies and procedures to ensure we will provide the best and safest care to you.

Are your Personal Assistants (P.A’s) DBS checked?

All of our P.A’s and staff who visit your home are DBS and reference checked. The DBS is renewed every 3 years.

Can I choose my team of P.A’s?

You can have as little or as much input into the recruitment of your P.A’s as you like.

We can sit with you to put together the advert. We will then screen and interview the candidates who apply. We will then put forward to you the ones we feel are suitable for a meet and greet. You then have the opportunity to meet them, either in person or via Microsoft Teams, before letting us know if you would like that candidate to be part of your care package.

How specific can I be when it comes to my P.A’s?

You can give us a list of qualities that you are looking for in a P.A, however we must ensure that we follow equality and diversity legislation when we are recruiting.

Who will manage my P.A’s?

You will have a Complex Care Manager (CCM) who will manage your P.A’s from an operational point of view.

Will my P.A’s only support me?

You will have a team of “core” P.A’s who will support you. Occasionally we may have to cross-work P.A’s if they have capacity or are looking for more hours. This would only be allowed if your package of support is fully staffed.

Who will make sure that my P.A’s are able to support my needs?

We have a highly skilled and qualified Clinical Team who will ensure your P.A’s are fully trained, whether they have previous experience or not, to meet your specific clinical needs.

How are your P.A’s trained?

Once we have recruited your P.A’s, specifically chosen according to your wants and needs, they will attend a company induction. They are then given thorough mandatory training, such as basic life support, moving and handling and medication administration. This is all carried out by qualified trainers.

We ensure all P.A’s complete eLearning and then attend specific classroom training on your needs. We believe that the learning emphasis should be carried out alongside you, in your home, so that you and your P.A’s get to know each other, giving them the opportunity to understand all your individual needs.

Once they have been trained, both in the classroom and in your home, and know all about you, they will be deemed and signed as competent by a Registered Nurse. They will then undergo regular supervision visits and yearly mandatory training.

If I don’t get on with one of my P.A’s, can they be changed?

Firstly, we would like to hear the reasons behind any conflict and see if they can be resolved. If the issues cannot be resolved, and if your current team of P.A’s have spare capacity/are willing to pick up and commit to the extra shifts whilst we recruit a replacement, then we would potentially be able to remove them.

However, if this is not the case, then we would request that they remain as your P.A. whilst we recruit a replacement.

Can my P.A’s take me outside?

Yes they can, although a risk assessment may need to be put in place depending on the activity.

What happens if my P.A. leaves suddenly or calls in sick and my other P.A’s cannot cover?

We would contact other P.A’s in our employment, who have capacity, and request them to cover the gaps. If this cannot be done, we would potentially outsource to agencies. However, this is not the preferred route as the P.A. they send would not know you or your needs.

If agencies do not have capacity then we would ask to see if a family member could support or, failing that, change the structure of the care package so that the existing team can support in the interim. In this case, risk assessments would need to be carried out to ensure that you are safe.

What if I want to speak so someone more senior?

We have a dedicated team of Clinical Nurse Specialists (all Registered Nurses) and operational managers, who will oversee and be involved in all aspects of your care. If you need to speak to more senior members of the team, we will ensure you have their contact details.

What if I have an issue out of office hours?

We have a dedicated on-call team who will meet all your concerns if they occur. You will be provided with all this information as soon as we meet you.

I would like to regain as much independence as I can, is this something you can help me with?

We believe that both you and your family/ support circle should be able to make choices and have control over your care. We want you to live safely in your home and help you to continue activities where possible that you have always enjoyed. We will help you with day-to-day tasks, and find out what your aspirations are, exploring how we can help you to achieve them.

Do you work with any external organisations?

We work very closely with the Spinal Injuries Association, as we share the same goal which is to support you in adjusting to living positively with your spinal injury.

Do you provide live in care?

As a division of Bespoke Health & Social Care, we can work closely with you to create a bespoke way of working together. Whether you need us overnight, day and night or a few hours a day, we can work with you and your funder to start putting together a plan that suits you and your needs.