Case Study – ‘Understanding What Matters’ – Mr B’s story

Mr B –  A case study from Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Mr B had been known to Adult Social Care, with alcohol- related problems since 2007 but prior to the latest episode of work (outlined here) had been given a diagnosis of early onset Dementia. He lived in supported accommodation for individuals with alcohol-dependency.
Mr B had had over 14 admissions to the local alcohol dependency unit in recent years and was well known to Emergency services seeming just to want to talk to somebody.
The newly allocated Enablement worker had recently received training around an ‘understanding what matters’ approach to working with individuals and so when she undertook her initial visit she focused not on Mr B’s needs but encouraged him to talk more generally about his life and situation. He told her that he wanted to die and had no family, friends or anybody who would miss him.
Mr B went on to share, with pride, that he had been in the RAF as a Senior Aircraft Man carrying high levels of responsibility. In his time in the forces, however, he had experienced some highly traumatic events, including the death of some of his close colleagues.
What we did
The worker undertook some detective work and accessed pictures of the planes flown by Mr B. She pulled together some photographs and information and with Mr B’s agreement she approached the British Legion.
As a result, an Admiral Nurse from the Alexandra Nursing Core Armed Forces was allocated to Mr B to offer him practical, clinical and emotional support. The Nurse explored rehousing in a complex for veterans and offered Respite Care funded by the Armed Forces. He also was assigned a befriender to talk about his time in the RAF and also to assess if he needs counselling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The difference we made – Impact and Outcomes
Adult Social Care did not provide funded support to Mr B but through providing time and a person-centred approach were able to support him to access services appropriate to his needs.      
Sadly Mr B passed away unexpectedly shortly after the worker’s assessment but during the last few weeks of his life was he was with likeminded people.
He was well-supported and although alcohol was available he did not drink during this period.
There is every reason to suppose that he would have gone on to have a much improved quality of life, making far fewer demands of emergency services
Mr B received a Military Funeral.

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