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DATE POSTED: 14/08/2013

Highwater House - Norfolk's only "dual diagnosis" Care Home

Highwater House, the Trust's 22 bed (18 long-term and 4 move-on) registered care home in Westwick Street, adjacent to Under One Roof, caters for people who have experienced homelessness and who have a "dual diagnosis".  In other words people who have both a mental health issue and a substance abuse (alcohol or drugs) issue. Uniquely in Norfolk Highwater House has a "wet lounge" and this enables the Home to manage the alcohol addictions of some residents. This facility helps to prevent street drinking with its associated issues for city centre retailers, Norfolk Police, Norfolk Probation and the Courts. Highwater House is the only community-based residential care resource dedicated to meeting the needs of the dual diagnosis group in Norfolk and remains one of the very few establishments of its kind in the UK. Allocation processes and revenue support arrangements are in place with Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Trust and Norfolk Adult Services. Nominations for placements at the home are made from across the county by health and social care professionals. 

The Home had 22 referral enquires during the period under review and admitted 6 new residents – 4 long-term and 2 short-term.  Six  residents moved on during the year.  Of these six 2 moved into social house, 1 went to friends, 1 went to prison, 1 was detained under the Mental Health Act, and 1 was evicted.  An eviction is a rare occurrence with most anti-social episodes being managed by short-term bans from the property. Two hour bans were used on fifty-three occasions, 24 hour bans on five occasions, 48 hour bans on one occasion and 7 day bans on one occasion.  The staff team is very stable and experienced in dealing with this specialist client group.  Nevertheless Norfolk Police were called to the home on ten occasions.

Activities and the pursuit of hobbies is an important feature of life at Highwater House.  There were 1,040 activity sessions during the period under review.  Activities ranged from tai-chi to acupuncture, and from music sessions to discussion groups. They included 450 activity sessions at Under One Roof and many outings to the Projects fixed caravan on the coast.  

The Home continues to make extensive use of the “outcome star”.  This is a methodology for measuring mental health recovery. Ten areas are measured:- managing mental health; physical health and self care; living skills; social networks; work; relationships; addictive behaviour; responsibilities; identity and self-esteem; and trust and hope. Residents enjoy using the system to record their progress and achievements.

Trustees are concerned that some residents at Highwater House are older than the 65 year age limit shown on the registration certificate issued by the regulatory authority – the Commission for Quality Care.  During the year there were 4 residents at Highwater House over the age of 65.  There are older tenants too living in other Trust accommodation and the Trust has experienced difficulties in relocating them to specialist accommodation managed by other providers. As a consequence they are considering how they might provide some specialist accommodation for these older and frail residents.  So far several opportunities have been pursued to no avail.

Click here for the full 2012/13 Annual Report of the Trust.

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