Langley House is one of our specialist autism services based in the picturesque county of Somerset. After achieving their initial accreditation by the National Autistic Society (NAS) in 2019, the team’s continued hard work and dedication has been recognised further, with the NAS Advanced Status!
This level of recognition is an amazing achievement and rewards the team’s continuous improvements to the incredible care and support they provide. As part of this, the Langley House team have developed their skills and knowledge, built close relationships with the local community, and engaged the people we support in a variety of exciting and meaningful projects.
We spoke with David, Service Manager to find out more about the accreditation and what it means for the future of Langley House and the people we support.
What is the process of being awarded Advanced status?
Our National Autism Lead, Raj, is an NAS assessor and identified we could review the accreditation we received in 2019. Raj had observed how we’ve developed and focused on the achievements of the people we support.
The assessment process was familiar as we’d been through it for our initial accreditation. They’re a good marker of achievement and give us opportunities to define areas for improvement and development pathways for the team.
How did the team work together to achieve this?
We were able to build on the feedback and learnings from the previous assessment to make improvements to the service. We looked at how we approached support at Langley House, regularly challenging and adapting ideas to further enhance the lives of the people we support.
In the last assessment, we were encouraged to develop our engagement with the local community and started to build relationships, which helped us make the most of local opportunities. We continued to do this successfully and safely, even with the barriers of Covid-19. During this assessment, we were able to demonstrate this, as well as our in-depth knowledge of the people we support. The team are invested in their lives and really understand their individual needs. The moderator praised how sensitively and professionally the team approached the more personal attributes of the people we support. They commented that this was not always evident in assessments.
What were the key factors to achieving Advanced status?
To help us achieve Advanced status, we implemented basic autism training as a requirement for all staff. This hands-on training is vital as it encourages the team to link theory with practice. They relate what they are learning to supporting people in real-life situations.
The NAS report mentioned that our long-serving staff members acted as key educators to other team members – having developed a rich knowledge of autism and the people we support over the years. Their skills and experience are passed down to new team members, which helps with continuous learning and development.
We also use continuous feedback from family members and support networks to inform our approaches, which was commented on by the moderator.
What difference does Advanced status make to the people we support at Langley House?
Achieving Advanced status gives the team confidence in their work and really recognises the support and opportunities they give to the people we support. This boosts the team and helps them to continue enriching their lives and empowering them to develop as adults.
In the final feedback session, the assessor said that, with the diverse mix of needs amongst the residents, Langley House (in theory) shouldn’t work. She explained that if they were establishing a new service, they wouldn’t group 11 high-functioning people with complex needs together – especially in a 17th Century coach house!
But the team at Langley House demonstrate they have the skills to support people to live in this home, and help them to develop, learn new skills, and thrive. Every small step they are encouraged to take, results in a big leap forward. Having the Advanced status will encourage the team to continue offering the highest-quality care to the people we support.
What’s next for the team and people we support at Langley House?
We would like to strive towards achieving Beacon status. Based on the feedback we received from the last assessment, this can be done if we increase our integration in the community. We’re already planning more community garden projects, as well as developing new relationships with outside partners, such as the parish church.
We’re also planning to reintroduce music and art sessions, as well as offering a sensory music project. We’ll ensure our community-based activities are achievable and safe for the people we support and the public.
We’re currently working on a community garden project that includes a sensory garden. Our local Beavers group are completing wildlife projects around our pond area, and we’ve planned a project with the local primary school, who are visiting Langley House to watch the impact of the seasons on the wildlife.
How did you feel when you achieved Advanced status?
As the service manager, I’m extremely proud that we’ve received this recognition. I’m pleased for the team as it recognises their hard work. It also gives greater confidence in the service with all parents, families, and professional partners.
We haven’t organised a celebration yet, but we will do something as a household very soon to mark this amazing achievement!
Find out more!
If you would like to learn more about how we can support you, a loved one or a client, complete our quick and easy form, and a member of our team will be in touch.