Last October, members of the Mandt Leadership traveled to Manchester, United Kingdom, to spend some time with members of our UK affiliate, Timian Learning and Development. The purpose of the trip was to discuss plans for the next generation of Timian content (currently under development as Timian 2.0) along with a roadmap for strategies and partnerships to support continued reduction in the use of restraint and seclusion in the UK and across Europe.
While we would call the trip a great success by any measure, some of the greatest success came from the moments we got to share with attendees of a Timian certification class. It was a diverse group- care professionals from a half-dozen different types of organizations, with differing roles and experience levels.
Quite naturally, our attention began with some of the differing challenges we face as members of similar professions from different countries and continents. And there certainly are differences; the environment in the UK with respect to training for de-escalation and use of physical restraint is the most heavily-regulated in the world, particularly in the areas of mental health and social services. Those major differences, combined with countless smaller differences related to culture and professional practice would certainly tend to suggest that the worlds we live in are at least an ocean apart.
Despite those specific and significant circumstances, it was not the differences that were the most striking, but rather the common ground we share.
In the UK, just as we find here at home in the U.S., the degree of concern and care taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the people cared for is overwhelming. We all share in the same drive to keep our workplaces safe for all involved. In the UK, just as here, that sense of care and concern, the sense of mission and principle, extends beyond a merely professional degree. We are interested in building better relationship in every area of our lives, and maintaining environments wherever we go where everybody can say, “In this place and with these people, I feel safe.”
We are also facing many of the same mounting pressures as we work to build and maintain those relationships and environments.
The biggest concern we heard about in the UK is the one we hear about every day in North America and elsewhere- the time required to train instructors and learners is creating a real bind in the face of tight labor markets and limited resources within organizations.
At one level, perhaps this should not be surprising. Demographic and economic factors often do not obey the tidy political borders that separate one country from another.
What is surprising is the degree to which this concern is growing in urgency and significance.
Here in the U.S. we have noticed a definite and pronounced voice for this concern across all care sectors, from education and healthcare to government and social services. The voice comes from all corners, though it is articulated in many different ways- from a vague sense of unease and concern within smaller organizations all the way to detailed financial analysis being performed by larger organization on how best to keep their stakeholders safe while making most efficient use of a dwindling pool of resources.
Most organizations, in the US, the UK and elsewhere find this sort of training in greater demand at the same time they have less staff time available to provide the training.
At The Mandt System, we are listening to these concerns.
In the first part of 2023 we are planning program developments and evolution that will allow us to provide the same quality of training with lessened demand on staff time. We are examining the effectiveness and impact of a variety of technologies and applications in balancing this demanding equation between time and training effectiveness.
As we explore and innovate, we will doubtlessly be in touch with as many of you as possible to understand the needs of you and your organization, and how we can best partner to meet these challenges.
If the experience of the last few years has taught us anything, it has taught us that we can adapt our methods and presentation while maintaining our commitment to strong relationships and safe environments.
So please, join us on this journey- meeting the challenge of decreased available time while we face an ever-increasing need to keep workplaces and people safe.
Ralph Metzner – Chief Innovation Officer