I met a guy a few weeks ago that I have not seen for a few years. It was good to see him as he was clearly contented and happy. When I had met him previously he had been finding life a bit troublesome and was certainly not at peace with either himself or with the people around him. To see the difference that a few years, better support and a move to a better home can make to an individual was stark.
I also met someone else who has followed and helped the guy along his journey and she is now a commissioner. She of course has other clients with similar support needs, and she recalled what we do.
She wanted to know what we could do for a gentleman who has become stuck in the system and is making life difficult for everyone at a private hospital – a familiar tale. We proposed a solution and invited the commissioner to come and look at what we could do. The commissioner did a good thing and invited someone who knew the guy very well, and together they visited the support to see whether they believed it could work for the unhappy gentleman.
The question arose as to how we could be sure that the behaviours the gentleman exhibited, the ones that were causing the hospital such difficulty, could be supported well. The commissioner simply said "ubu know how to do this – I have seen it happen", and she told the story.
The commissioner and the client's friend went away to recommend the solution to the family. From a development standpoint it would be easy to see that as an end to the process, but it marks an inspirational beginning. It surely marks a new beginning for the gentleman in hospital who we sincerely hope will move into his beautiful new home, but it also did something else.
The 'friend' that the commissioner brought to the support as someone who really knew the client, is the Winterbourne View Lead Commissioner for another authority that have not previously wanted to work with us.
She has now asked us to tell her what we can do for her authority. Serendipity perhaps, luck? No. We deliver excellent support for a guy that many years ago was a forgotten member of society, and he brought those people to a place where his story inspired others to try again.