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Building our support through Experts by Experience

Quality Consultants are part of Dimensions’ lifeblood. Over 50 people we support are now also paid to be ‘experts by experience’ – getting involved in everything from quality checking our services to supported interviewing and induction training for all our employees.

The network is expanding all the time – more people we support are being trained to do the role, and in a development we believe is unique in the sector, parallel networks of family experts and tenants are being piloted. Well over 60 people we support, family members and tenants now act as Dimensions experts by experience.

Tracey Garcia, Head of Dimensions Quality Consultant Network reflects: “We were interviewing for a new Director last year, but the quality consultant who was part of the interview panel didn’t feel the leading candidate had quite the right attitude.

“The CEO crossed that individual’s name out then and there – even though it meant we couldn’t appoint to the role. It brought home to me just how culturally focused Dimensions is on being led by the people we support.”

Quality Consultants also accompany Dimensions’ internal auditors on their regular inspections of services. As experts by experience, they often pick up things that the auditors cannot. Working as a team and with the service manager, they collectively ensure Dimensions has among the highest CQC ratings performance of any provider.

And don’t for one moment think that the role is restricted to the most able people we support. Tracey continues, “We support one lady who has profound and multiple learning disabilities. She is employed to work as a listen up trainer.

“Her gift is sharing a video of her active in her own home and community that conflicts with how she may present herself at other times.”

Quality Consultants have a major voice in shaping the whole approach to Involvement, says Tracey, “We don’t just employ them to do a specific job. They are consulted for their views on how best to evolve all aspects of our Involvement programme, they support the programme management and associated communications, among much else. Several are trained in media interviewing to help drive forward our social change campaigns #ImWithSam and #LoveYourVote.

“Our Quality Consultants are front and centre of, literally, everything we do.”

If you are supported by Dimensions, are a Dimensions tenant, or are a family member of someone we support and would like to find out more, contact tracey.garcia@dimensions-uk.org

Meet some of Dimensions Quality Consultants

Rachel

“It gets me out the house and I like doing it. I like everyone else. I like a bit of money. It keeps me busy and I like it.”

Jordan

“It allows me to hear from the most important voice…the people Dimensions supports.”

Ann

“You never know what you’re going to hear. I enjoy my job because it’s never the same.”

Alan

“I do interviews, training and I go round different services and make sure people are happy…”

If you are supported by Dimensions, are a Dimensions tenant, or are a family member of someone we support and would like to find out more, contact tracey.garcia@dimensions-uk.org