HIV Support Services
The aim of the Support Services within The Eddystone Trust is: To deliver services that are centred on the needs of the individual.
We can offer different levels of support, some people may access support specifically during times of crisis while others access regular support. The sort of support you want is up to you.
Eligibility and how to access our services
The support team at The Eddystone Trust strive to deliver the highest quality of services available and is made up of individuals with a diverse mix of skills, experiences and backgrounds.
We are funded specifically to work with adults (18 years and over) who are HIV positive and their families and/or carers that need some degree of help and/or support to assist them live safely and independently in the community.
If a person under the age of 18 accesses our services, we will work with them to ensure they are supported by the appropriate agencies.
As an HIV positive person, you may refer yourself, to the Eddystone Trust or you can ask your consultant, social worker, GP or other professional support worker to make a referral on your behalf.
As a family member or carer of someone who is HIV positive you may contact us direct.
You will be offered an appointment to come and meet with a member of the Support Team, normally within 3 working days of you or your representative contacting us, however, more urgent appointments can be given for the same day if appropriate.
During our first appointment with you, you will be given time and space to discuss what living with HIV means to you and what, if any are the issues that are affecting you that may require some degree of support.
Assessment of your needs
We can support you around HIV related issues, for example, feeling isolated, emotional wellbeing, medication and sexual health. But we can also support you on issues that may not be directly related to your HIV status such as; financial, housing welfare benefits, education, re-training or employment.
The first step to getting the right support is being clear about your needs and the following information is to help you understand how we work and why certain procedures take place including a needs and risk assessment. The assessment helps the support worker and you consider many aspects of need, including physical health, MENTAL HEALTH, ECONOMIC WELLBEING, AND HOUSING .
You and your support worker will decide what your priorities are and together develop and agree a plan of action also known as a care plan.
It is unlikely you would go through a full needs assessment when you first meet with a support worker; it is more likely you would have one or two briefer conversations and then a specific time would be set aside for you and a support worker to complete a more detailed assessment.
The information gathered during the assessment will be shared with you and you will be asked to agree with its contents and agree to a care plan between you and the support worker and any others involved in helping you.
In some circumstances, it may be that you disagree with the worker’s assessment; if this is the case, it is your right to have your views recorded and explained further. You will be offered a copy of the care plan to take away with you and you will be encouraged to review, change or add to it at any time. All care plans are reviewed at six months to make sure it is up to date and still relevant and helpful or before if an aspect of your needs change.
In exceptional circumstances, Eddystone may have a legal requirement to disclose information if asked to do so by the police. Full details of the circumstances that may lead to this will be given to you during the initial assessment.
Due to the many other services we deliver, which can be different at each location we cannot guarantee that the only people you will see in any of our premises will be an Eddystone employee. Seeing another person at the site you access your support from might mean that they work for another agency or have called in to collect some information on one of our services. It does not mean that they are accessing the support services.
Depending on the level of support you need will depend on how often you will meet one to one with a support worker. You will always be given follow up appointments if appropriate or it may be the support worker will telephone you regarding updates or a general catch up.
In some circumstances i.e. ill health, we will visit you in hospital or in your home; a second member of the support team will accompany the support worker on all home visits.
In between appointments if you need to speak with a support worker you can either telephone or call into the office during opening times, however we can not guarantee that a support worker will be available and you may need to wait until one is available.
All staff employed by Eddystone including volunteers, sign a confidentiality policy and a full enhanced CRB check is carried out on each person prior to them taking up employment. If you would like a full copy of the confidentiality policy you can ask any member of staff who will provide you will one.
In simple terms, confidentiality is: ‘Not telling anyone that someone else has used a service, why or what happened, unless you have that person’s permission’.
To access our support services we will need to obtain proof of your HIV status, this is usually obtained in writing from your consultant. You will need to sign a consent form to allow this exchange of information to take place. You will be asked to sign this form at the first appointment.
Your personal information and details will be stored securely in a locked cabinet and only staff working in Support Services will have access to it. Eddystone does not disclose the HIV status of any person using the service without consent. Nor will it disclose whether you are registered with the service without your consent. Your preferred method for being contacted will be placed in your notes.
If you are accessing our services with your partner, the support workers have a duty to respect the confidentiality of each individual person. This means that your partner will not be told the details of meeting that you attend without them, it will be your choice to decide what you tell them.
If you would like a copy of our Confidentiality Policy you will find it under the About Us section in Policies and Procedures. Click here to view it.
Staff working within Eddystone have a responsibility to provide a safe, effective and caring service to all its clients.
Whilst it is recognised that staff must establish a rapport with clients and provide friendly and accessible services, they are, responsible for establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries between themselves and clients.
This comprises of many elements and includes the policy that staff must not enter into any personal and/or sexual relationships with a client at any time whilst employed by The Eddystone Trust.
As part of this professional approach, staff members are not to accept or encourage gifts from clients.
If a client insists that they want to give a gift to The Eddystone Trust, it is acceptable to buy flowers, fruit or confectionary that can be shared by all the office. Alternatively, prizes may be donated for raffles or donations made.
Complaints, suggestions and compliments
At Eddystone we try and make sure all our staff provide as good a service as possible and we like to listen to the views of people who use our services. If you have any suggestions, comments or compliments, please pass these onto the staff who will record them for discussion at future team meetings. We like to hear if we are doing well but also want to hear if you think things could be done differently or better.
If you are unhappy about the service you receive from out team and wish to make a complaint you have several options:
Immediate and Informal Options:
You may speak directly to the person the complaint concerns, i.e. a member of staff or volunteer and see if there is any immediate solution or resolution. Alternatively, you can request to meet with another member of staff to discuss your complaint further.
The Formal Complaints Procedure:
We also have a formal complaints procedure. If you would like a copy of this please ask a member of staff. They will also help you to submit the formal complaint in writing (or by email). All complains will be taken seriously and will be investigated.
If you would like a digital copy of our Formal Complaints Procedure you will find it under the About Us section in Policies and Procedures. Click here to view it.