David Whittock, Director of Service Development at supported living service Eden Futures, explains how the group works to deliver a service that ensures its users’ safety, whilst promoting their independence and allowing them to retain as much dignity as possible.

When we are delivering support, we expect the highest standards of integrity from all of our staff. Whilst their safety is always a priority, individuals should be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

The right to choose where and who to live with plays a huge part in the everyday life of our service users. We strive to provide and source appropriate housing and support options so that the individuals in our care are able to lead increasingly independent lives.

Transforming care has been, and will continue to be, a hot topic within the health and social care sector. Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities face challenging targets to move people from assessment and treatment units into a community solution close to their home. A huge barrier is that the specialist properties are not available and, when they are, the care providers have to face a difficult procurement process, which can sometimes take years to produce a positive outcome for the individual.

Through our collaboration, Eden Futures is currently developing a new specialist housing model that is aimed at meeting this demand. Local authorities, building developers, architects, occupational therapists, and the service users are all involved in developing this process. The model will make the best use of our existing specialist housing to meet current demand, and, most importantly, build something that is bespoke and tailored to meet the needs of our unique residents.

By working with local housing associations in this way, our schemes enable individuals to take ownership of their own tenancy agreement, as well as benefiting from a more independent lifestyle alongside the 24/7 support from staff at Eden Futures.

Many of our schemes now feature independent-style apartments with welcoming and inviting communal areas. Residents can enjoy the freedom of having their own front door and private space, but feel secure within their own

David Whittock has over 24 years of social care experience. As a qualified social worker he has worked in a special school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and has worked for two local authorities. In 2002 David set up Housing and Support Solutions Ltd, at the beginning of the supported living movement. In 2013 it was acquired by the Eden Futures group where David has since been instrumental in driving forward new growth in multiple locations across the UK.

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community, building positive relationships with their neighbours and the support staff.

Our new developments are fitted with specific fixtures and fittings, adaptations and assisted technology prior to residents moving in, to facilitate secure and safe independent living.

Basic design features are incorporated to reduce the risk of unnecessary barriers whilst promoting independence within the accommodation, as well as considering safety for all residents. These include recessed lights, sensor-reactive induction hobs, locked medication cupboards and wetrooms.

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