Making the Move


The Cuan Aoibheann Unit, in St. Mary’s Hospital, Dublin is a HSE managed facility providing residential care to people with a range of disabilities. The Open Training College were asked in 2013 to develop a strategic training initiative that would help with the transition of service delivery from an institutional to community setting.

The College worked with senior management to develop a customised programme that would encourage staff to develop the skills, competencies and attitudes required to make the move a successful one.


Four key assumptions were identified and used to guide the development of the programme:

  • Making the move into the community could present significant challenges for staff and service users. They, therefore, needed to be empowered to deal with it.
  • Meeting the needs of service users requires the development of new skills among staff. These would be users to support service users in deciding for themselves what they require from services in the new environment.
  • Giving staff the tools to deal creatively with challenges associated was a key success factor.
  • Similarly, encouraging the development of a person centred approach in staff practice would be vital to ensuring a smooth transition but, more importantly, would ensure more effective and empowering service delivery.


Delivery & Feedback

The programme was delivered in two one-day work held four months apart. This model allowed participants explore how they had applied skills and gave them the opportunity to look at ways in which they could improve service delivery in an environment where they had access to external expert advice and the support of colleagues.

Feedback from the training highlighted the fact that people felt empowered, supported and and motivated to facilitate the transition and were already applying the tools and techniques explored during the workshops to help residents take their first steps into the community.

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