We spoke to Sarajane, Service Manager at Northfield House, to find out more about the accreditation process and what this fantastic achievement means to the service.
Well done for receiving your NAS Accreditation! How did you find the process?
The whole process ran very smoothly. You really need to be organised and ensure that all the paper work is in place and updated. This made the whole process a lot easier for us as we then only had to make minor tweaks. The autism audit that we were required to do was lengthy, but we put an action plan in place and to ensure we completed sections of the audit each week.
The staff played a massive part throughout the process and I cannot praise them enough! Their dedication and hard work has paid off. We are blessed and fortunate to have such an amazing team!
Did you face any challenges while you were completing the accreditation?
I think the biggest challenge we faced as a team was trying to complete the accreditation throughout a global pandemic! The support from the NAS team and Raj, our Specialisms Implementer was consistent and fantastic, and they really helped us through the entire process.
Do you have any advice for other services wanting to achieve their NAS Accreditation?
My biggest tip would be to ensure that you have the confidence and knowledge of all the policies and procedures to provide information to the assessor. Also, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and take risks! Active support really did play a big part in the evidence to show that we promote independence, and push boundaries to enable the people we support to live fulfilling and meaningful lives.
What does the accreditation mean to you?
We wanted to join the accreditation to ensure that we are providing the very best service and practice for the people we support. It means a lot to everyone at Northfield House and it’s been a pleasure to share some positive news with our residents, staff and family members.
The people we support played a big part in the assessments and were really happy to participate! They enjoyed having interactions with the assessor and sharing their stories. The families of the people we support were also involved with the assessments and sent emails and spoke with the assessors on the phone. It meant a lot to us to have their support too throughout the process.
I think the accreditation for us means we are a more autism focused service with increased expertise in supporting autistic people. I think it provides reassurance for new referrals that the service is personalised to each individual.
Visit our Autism support page to read more about how we support people with autism and our partnership with the National Autistic Society.