Technorati href="http://www.technorProfile Thinking Nurse: Positive Choices Conference - Student Presentations: Person Centred Planning in Northern Ireland

Thinking Nurse

This blog will reflect my interests in learning disabilities, nursing, nursing theory, philosophy and politics and my general interests in the arts and literature. (Nursing is an art as well as a science!) Philosophy and nursing have been intrinsically linked since the days of Socrates, his mother was a midwife, and taught him everything he knew!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Positive Choices Conference - Student Presentations: Person Centred Planning in Northern Ireland

The Positive Choices conference kicked off with an inspiring contribution by Bob Gates, which is covered here: Bob Gates and Jason Grundy
I will now write a little about the excellent presentations made by the students who attended the conference. In the difficult first spot were Orla MacAllister and Johnathon Pollock, of Queens University Belfast reporting on the work that had made them 'RCN Student Nurses of the Year 2004' (Well done!).

The two intrepid students had brought Person Centred Planning from off the pages of the idealistic textbook, and into a Nursing Home that housed people with learning disabilities who had complex health needs. They engaged with staff attitudes to PCP in a straightforward and honest way, offering training to the whole staff team, and dealing frankly with the various attitudes and beliefs about PCP that exist in every care setting where this is introduced as a new concept.

The scepticism of some staff was expressed in the statement "I dont think that the person is capable of participating meaningfully in a PCP" - Jonathon Pollock felt that often the people who made this kind of statement were actually projecting their own fear that they were themselves incapable of doing PCP onto the person with Learning Disabilities.

They did not win everyone over in the Nursing Home to Valuing People's bright vision of Person Centred Planning - this would have been impossible - instead they followed up with the 'propaganda of the deed' - they carried out a Person Centred Plan, involving people at every level from the client's circle of support. The best way to prove that something can be done, after all, is to do it.

The plan they organised was for 'Mary' (a pseudonym), ensuring that she was at the centre of the process by asking questions of all the members of the circle of support like "What is it that would really add quality to Mary's life? If Mary had a dream, what would it be?".

I am still waiting for full details of MacAllister and Pollock's presentation to be posted on the Positive Choices website - keep checking, it is worth a read particularly because of the objective way they have reported staff opinions of PCP. No starry eyed idealism here, but gritty realism, and a determination to make it work.

Coming Soon: More reviews of student presentations.


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