The Westminster Society for people with learning disabilities are Skills for Care Accolades Winner of Winners
The Westminster Society for people with learning disabilities took home the coveted Winners of Winners trophy at the Skills for Care Accolades ceremony that honours the best employers in adult social care.
The society works in Westminster and other London boroughs offering registered care, supported housing, day opportunities, floating support and domiciliary care. The people they support have a range of needs including profound and multiple disability, autism and complex needs.
They also picked up the Best recruitment initiatives Accolade at a glittering ceremony in the Hilton Birmingham Metropole for their innovative work in recruiting and retaining new staff with the active support of people who use their services.
Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: “This is a well-deserved award for the Westminster Society for people with learning disabilities who not only won their category in the face of very fierce completion, but then convinced a panel of expert judges they deserved the top prize.
“The Accolades celebrate the outstanding achievements of employers from across our growing sector but they are all united by an absolute commitment to invest in learning and development opportunities for their workers.”
Westminster Society’s innovative approach includes working with the people using their services and developing a ‘values into practice’ statement plus ten top tips for selection of staff.
An assessment centre approach for recruitment purposes was launched in 2012 helping candidates to demonstrate their behaviours, attitudes and values through a series of practical exercises and assessment tools.
People accessing care and support from the organisation are fully involved in hosting the assessment day, taking photographs of candidates, chatting with them informally and observing the practical exercises. The photographs are to remind them of the candidates when making decisions about whether they should be recruited. This has increased their self-esteem and given them the power to help to shape their services.
The organisation has a strong learning culture with staff encouraged and supported to achieve qualifications and specialist learning and development. Action learning sets have been developed to support managers to learn through experience and develop their practice which has resulted in improved retention rates.
Other category winners were:
Best employer of under 250 staff – Amber Trust
Best employer of over 250 staff – Cornwell Care Limited
Best individual employer who employs their own staff – Lisa-Marie Eastwood
Best provider of learning and development – Tyne and Wear Care Alliance
Best employer support for Apprenticeships – Oxfordshire County Council Health and Social Care Apprenticeship Scheme
Best employer support for the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment – Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight & Portsmouth (SHIP) Social Work Education Network (SWEN)
Most effective new approach to service delivery – MacIntyre