12 ways that Wellbeing Teams are different

Wellbeing Teams are still about delivering personal care and support to people. That could be helping them to get up, get dressed, have a shower, take medication, make a meal or go to bed. The difference is in how we deliver it, and what other elements we deliver alongside this. Here are 12 ways that Wellbeing Teams are different.

1. Wellbeing Teams are self-managing

Wellbeing Teams work on self-management principles. This means that the individual Wellbeing Workers are able to make decisions that are in the best interests of the people they support. This in turn means that teams are much more flexible and responsive to an individual’s needs. Working in this way removes layers of hierarchy, keeping decisions closer to the people themselves and reducing unnecessary costs. Our self-management processes are detailed in our training materials and staff handbook, enabling the team to work with each other smoothly, supported by a team coach and buddy system.

2. The teams know what matters to each person, and use this to co-produce a service that will help them to achieve their outcomes

Wellbeing Workers know what people’s strengths, passions and interests are, and usually have a hobby or interest in common because the person chooses the Workers who are part of their team. Wellbeing Teams use person-centred thinking tools to learn about what matters to each person and to share this information with each other. Everyone has a one-page profile to describe what matters to them and how they want to be supported.

3. Wellbeing Teams work to outcomes, not just to deliver tasks

Wellbeing Workers know what the bigger picture is, and their role in this. This means that they can work flexibly to make the desired outcome a reality, rather than just following a list of set tasks on every visit. For example, Mrs. Jones wants to be part of her faith community again; so on Thursdays she is supported to go to the luncheon club at church. The team knows that their job is not just to make sure she has a meal, but to help her connect with people there, and find out if there are other things going on that she could be part of.

4. The Wellbeing Teams use the Support Sequence to deliver outcomes

Wellbeing Workers work with the people they support to explore a range of options for achieving their outcomes, to make sure that the support they are delivering is as efficient and effective as possible. This sequence starts with self-care and assistive technology, then thinks about family, friends and Community Circles, before exploring existing community-based services. Finally, once these options have been explored, they look at personally delivering the support required through the Wellbeing Workers themselves.

5. Our partnership with Community Circles

Community Circles is a charity working to deliver circles of support at scale. Wellbeing Teams have partnered with them by building Circles directly into the Wellbeing Teams model as a key component of our offer. Circles activate people’s personal relationship networks to support them to achieve their personal outcomes and reduce social isolation, with the help of a volunteer Circles facilitator; who in turn is recruited and trained by the Community Circles Connector. This innovative way of working enables Wellbeing Teams to achieve better outcomes for people without having to jump directly to paid support.

6. Wellbeing Teams are neighbourhood-based

This means Wellbeing Teams members get to know their community very well – the people, places, resources and services. It also means Wellbeing Workers spend less time  travelling, and more time delivering care.

7. The lengths of the visits vary, according to what the person needs – based on their outcomes 

Wellbeing Teams know what has to be achieved on each call, but they are not watching the clock all the time. Sometimes a Wellbeing Worker needs to spend an extra 10 minutes with someone, but this gets balanced out with leaving 10 minutes early another time. Wellbeing Workers don’t feel rushed. There is no electronic monitoring – instead they are trusted to get the job done, and are accountable to the person to do this.

8. Wellbeing Workers know where they can use creativity and judgment

The Wellbeing Teams way of working means that Workers are clear about what their core responsibilities are and where they can use their judgment. For example, a Wellbeing Worker might decide to pick up fish and chips on the way to see Mrs. Jones because she mentioned that she used to love them but hadn’t had any for years. These little touches can make a big difference.

9. Wellbeing Teams are small and close-knit

Wellbeing Teams have weekly team meeting that work differently to traditional team meetings. As well as making sure that everyone has all the information to do a great job, the meeting is a way to identify ‘tensions’ and deal with them before they can become big problems.

10. Wellbeing Teams set their own rotas

Together, the Wellbeing Workers make sure that the people they provide care and support to get the support they need each day. By doing this themselves, they can also accommodate another team member who wants to see their child in a school play, and make sure that another can keep refereeing their son’s football team on a Sunday morning. There is give and take across the team to make sure this works for everyone, and by organising rotas themselves, they keep decisions about scheduling closer to the people delivering and receiving support.

11. Wellbeing Workers give and get feedback to and from each other

This is an expectation of everyone in the team, and the teams are taught a way to do this in induction (called Compassionate Communication).

12. Wellbeing matters – for people and for the team

The team pays attention to a wellbeing plan known as ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, and in some team meetings there are sessions to help people develop their own wellbeing. Wellbeing Workers have the opportunity to learn about ways to improve their wellbeing, such as yoga and mindfulness.

Why we need a new model

How we will spread Wellbeing Teams

Information for commissioners

Community Circles