People are at the Heart of our Services
Scottish Autism contracts with the majority of local authorities in Scotland, making us the largest provider of autism-specific services in Scotland. In our service delivery we take a flexible approach recognising that each autistic person is unique and requires an individual support plan which takes into account their interests and skills.
The quality of our services is underpinned by dedicated teams of practitioners who receive regular autism-specific training. With around one fifth of our staff having worked with us for over a decade, we have a very committed and passionate work force with the knowledge and skills to maximise the independence and social confidence of every individual.
VIP stands for Values into Practice and this model, comprised of three inter related components, underpins our practice. The first component relates to our ethical framework and reflects what we consider to be at the heart of good autism practice. The second strand is our wellbeing, stress reduction approach which is heavily influenced by Studio 3’s ATLASS programme. The focus that this brings on positive living and support is a perfect fit for our philosophy and enables us to think differently about behaviour we may find challenging. The final component of VIP is our Autism Practice Improvement Framework (APIF). Based on the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) methodology, this framework drives practice improvement and development as well as knowledge exchange and organisational learning.
To ensure our staff are at the fore of autism practice, we have an internal staff e-learning resource, the VIP Academy. The aim of the VIP Academy is to give our practitioners access to resources that will enable them to revise and revisit material to support them in their role. In fact, much of this content has been developed by staff themselves as we embrace a culture of sharing practice based learning. With our practitioners spread out across Scotland, having an online platform enables staff to access content as and when they require.
External Markers of Our Quality
We receive very positive feedback from our regulatory body, the Care Inspectorate. Our grades compare favourably with generic care providers and we consistently achieve the highest overall average grades in our care inspections in comparison to two other national autism-specific service providers, corroborating the success of our approach.
“We were impressed with the way the service enabled people to live as full a life as possible using flexible, innovative and person-centred approaches to support.” Care Inspection Report, Central Outreach, 2018
“Service is really good, staff learn a lot about autism.” Supported individual in Central Outreach Care Inspection Report, 2018
“People lived in their own house and were supported to remain as independent as possible. This was an extremely positive outcome for people and of great importance to some people we spoke with.” South West Services, Housing Support Care Inspection Report, 2018
“We could see relationships had been built despite the short time some people had stayed there. It was clear staff had worked hard to get to know the person and how they preferred their support to be carried out. We observed people treated with dignity, respect and given time to make choices.” Clannalba, Residential Service, Care Inspection Report, 2019
Our commitment to provide the best possible services for autistic people is reflected not only in our care inspectorate grades but through our regular comprehensive reviews of our activities where we identify areas for improvement. This drive for quality improvement comes from the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). The EFQM Excellence Model is a way to help organisations measure where they are on the path to excellence, helping them understand the gaps, and stimulating areas for improvement (AFI).
The EFQM Excellence Model provides us with a set of performance improvement tools in order for us to achieve and sustain business success. In 2017 we were delighted to receive a suite of accolades at Quality Scotland Awards for Business Excellence. In 2019 we received a 5 Star Recognised for Excellence (R4E) Award in recognition of our commitment to achieving organisational excellence and dedication towards continuous improvements. We also picked up the Good Practice Award for Adding Value for Customers and the overall Scottish Award for Business Excellence which goes to the highest scoring 5 star organisation in Scotland each year.