Me and My Support Group

Every so often in our services, the key worker groups change due to new staff joining and others leaving. Instead of staff deciding which person should be the key worker for each service user, they hand it over to the service users.


Staff complete one page profiles, filling in information about their interests, hobbies, personal qualities and experience. These are refreshed annually to ensure they stay up to date. Each service user is shown pictures of all the staff members along with their one page profiles. They then choose who they want to be their key worker, taking into consideration their shared interests, and the staff members’ personal skills, experience and attributes to meet their individual needs. This process promotes independence and enables service users to have more personal choice over their lives.

Earlier this month, service users at Hollyhurst, one of our residential care homes with nursing in the North East, had the choice of picking out three staff members to be their new key workers. Catherine, Martin and Stephen took up this opportunity and were happy to be given the option to decide for themselves.

Staff at Hollyhurst then take pictures and put them on the wall to show their choice. These three individuals wanted to show you their choices.

Hollyhurst Keyworker Collage Web size

By using this approach, Hollyhurst follows the Appreciative Inquiry methodology that we use to support our strength based approaches. Central to this is directly involving every service user in the design and development of their personalised service. By involving everyone in the process, a better model of care has been developed, drawing on the strengths and personal preferences of all service users and staff.

We will continue to support staff at Hollyhurst with processes such as this, so that they continue to deliver high-quality care and make a positive difference to the lives of the people they care for.

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