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Learning Disabilities
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Essex and Cambridgeshire


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Learning Disabilites index

The learning disabilities division represents a larger majority of our services and users. With this consideration, the division is subdivided into two parts for better management and looked after by two divisional directors.

These services are in the following divisions:

Division A

Division B


Martin Nicholas - Divisional Director � Learning Disabilities Division A

Personal Profile

I have worked within learning disability services for the past 11 years since leaving University. I commenced work with PentaHact in September 1995 as an Assistant Manager at Booth Road, before working as a Registered Manager for 2 years.

I have worked at Britannia House, overseeing and monitoring services provided, since April 1999. In April 2001 I started my current post as the Divisional Director -Learning Disabilities, overseeing all Outreach and Supported Living services. The Division also incorporates 3 residential services designed (or due to be remodeled) on a Supported Living basis.

One of the fundamental aims of the organisation is to offer people with learning disabilities a variety of housing and support options that matches their specific needs and aspirations. It is my responsible to ensure that these services are of the highest quality possible.


Residential Services

All 3 residential services are or will be provided on the supported living model. This entails a number of self-contained flats, each separately staffed, being managed within one building. These services offer the benefits of providing more individualised services (for 1, 2 or 3 people), whilst sharing management and night support resources across service as a whole.

Somerset Road and King Edward Road are both Residential services for 5 people with learning disabilities. Opened in 1991, people were resettled from long stay hospitals in Hertfordshire. Both accommodations were renovated Victorian Houses, with shared facilities and stairs within and outside the building. Over time people's support needs have increased and they have also indicated a preference to live with specific people and in smaller numbers. We are currently developing the timescale for the reprovision of these services with Barnet Local and Health Authorities and Sanctuary Housing.

Joshua Close is a purpose built service for 10 people with learning and/or physical disabilities in Muswell Hill, which opened in July 2000. The building contains 6 self-contained flats and each flat is staffed separately, with a staffing ratio of between 1 to 1 and 1 to 2 at all times.


Supported Living Services

PentaHact currently provides intensive support to 7 people in Barnet who have moved from residential services into their own house or flat. Five people receive 24-hour one to one support, whilst 2 receive support at specific times of each day depending on their needs.

All of the people wanted to take more control of their lives and choose where they lived. None of the people had the opportunity to make decisions about whether they wanted to move into their previous residential home. The move has lead to a dramatic decrease (or elimination) of challenging behaviour being displayed by some of the people, behaviour that was clearly linked to the communication of their wish to live in another environment.

Barnet Health and Local Authority have supported PentaHact to enable this to happen and PentaHact are aiming to develop these services further in the future.


Learning Disability Outreach

The Learning Disability Outreach Team supports 40 clients in four schemes across the London Boroughs of Barnet, Enfield, Haringey, and Waltham Forest. Service users receive support for anything from an hour a fortnight to 20 hours a week, depending on their requirements. Support is typically concerned with people�s housing, domestic or emotional needs.

In three of the schemes we operate - Hendon Way, Brunswick Park, and Sanctuary Housing � PentaHact provides housing management services as well as support, and the support we offer is a condition of people's tenancies. These arrangements are funded through Central Government housing management grants.

For 12 clients, we provide community outreach support, funded by spot purchases from local authorities. Unlike the other three schemes, these service users do not live in PentaHact-managed properties, and do not receive housing management from us.

All of the clients live independently, usually by themselves. They typically have a high degree of skills, and, via user groups and regular reviews, take an active part in directing the services they receive.


Mental Health Outreach Team

PentaHact has been supporting people with mental health needs since 1994, initially working with supported housing projects. Since 1999 we have also been working with people living in their own homes. We are approved providers of outreach mental health services in a number of London boroughs; working across Barnet, Haringey and Enfield.

The aim of the team is to:

  • Support service users to maintain their tenancies.
  • Support service users to take part in their community.
  • Ensure that service users have access to specialist services when needed.
  • Support service users to develop social and practical skills.
  • Tailor support towards meeting individual needs.

Where needed the team works with service uses in explaining their rights and responsibilities regarding their tenancies. Support workers give advice on budgeting, neighbour disputes and safety in the home.

Support workers strive to maintain good working relationships with outside agencies in service users� care. This ensures that the team have a greater knowledge of resources available to service users.

Each service user has their own individual support agreement, which their support is based on. This ensures that service users lead the process and that the team can be held accountable for their work. The service is monitored on a regular basis by staff supervision, consultation with service users, the internal annual service review and external monitoring from Health and Social Services.

Rochford (Essex)

Lakeside (Essex)

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Amanda Moss - Divisional Director � Learning Disabilities Division B

Personal Profile

I joined PentaHact in May 2000, as a service manager, under the previous structure. This was somewhat of a full-circle, as I had previoulsy worked as a support worker when Sampson Avenue, Penta Housing's third residential home opened in 1993.

Having grown up in Belfast, in Northern Ireland I spent a year in Israel following my schooling, and then studied at University College London. I spent some time working in youth and community work in the north of England before returning to London in the early 1990's.

I worked at Sampson Avenue for about 18 months, before taking up a position as a deputy manager in a Norwood Childcare adolscent unit for troubled young people. The work was challenging and emotionally very demanding, but equally very rewarding at times. Following this postion I moved back to the field of learning disabilities, setting up and running the first residential provision within Kisharon. The home catered for up to six young men with moderate to severe learning disabilities. I managed this service for four years before returning to PentaHact.

In my year as a service manager I was involved with four services and got to know the organisation well. Following the organisation's restructure it was a very welcome opportunity for me to become one of the new Divisional Directors and it is a huge challenge which I am relishing. To be a part of the team which will forge our way into this new century is a great responsibility, but one with which I am greatly excited to be a part.

Learning Disabilities Division B consists of six registered residential homes and one registered nursing home. The managers and staff teams in each service work to respond to all the needs of service users in a person-centred way. The services vary in size from four to eight people.

Geographically the services stretch from one side of the borough of Barnet to the other, with Sampson Avenue and Matlock Close in the High Barnet area, Juliana Close in East Finchley, Grindleford Avenue and Cambstone Close in New Southgate and a further residential home and our Nursing Home in Booth Road in Collindale.

Service users are supported in many and varied opportunities to access all facilities in the community and to maintain their relationships and social activities. Managers and staff work closely with our partners in the Community and Social Work teams to try to facilitate the best outcomes for service users.

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