HNA stands for Holistic Needs Assessment. It is the new process by which we will ensure that the Trust understands and responds to changing beneficiary need.
An HNA will be offered to every single beneficiary although it will take us some time to get round all of you, we plan to see 150 people a year.
We will contact you and arrange to come and see you at your home for a one to one conversation about the things that matter most to you.
For more information about the HNA, we have produced a factsheet.
So far we have carried out 64 HNAs.
An Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) is a new process introduced by the Thalidomide Trust to make sure that we understand, and respond to, the changing needs of our beneficiaries. It is basically a structured conversation between you and a trained member of staff or beneficiary volunteer.
The Trust has introduced HNAs for two reasons. Most importantly, we have introduced them to help us identify how we can support you individually. The HNA will help us make sure we’re providing the right sort of support to beneficiaries, at a time when many of you are facing increasing challenges to your health and having to make big changes in your lives. Even if you feel you are doing well at the moment, we are keen to talk to you and learn from you about what is working well in your life. Secondly the HNAs will help us build an overall picture of the biggest issues affecting our beneficiaries as a whole group. This information will also help us to make a better case for continued and increased funding from Diageo and the Departments of Health.
Over the next three to four years, all beneficiaries living in the UK will be offered an HNA. We plan to visit every single beneficiary and then set up a regular cycle of visits into the future. During that period we will be working to develop a form of the HNA that can be used for beneficiaries living abroad.
The HNA has been specially designed for the Trust, so it focuses on the key areas that we know impact on beneficiaries’ lives. A form is used to guide the conversation to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to talk about all the areas.
It isn’t just a box ticking exercise, though. The conversation is led by you, whilst the person carrying out the assessment asks questions and takes notes. Together, you’ll identify where you need further support or advice and agree the necessary actions to make sure you get it.
The important areas we cover are: family and relationships; care and carers; housing; health concerns and treatment; living independently; communication; personal care; eating and drinking; emotional and mental wellbeing; and finances.Not all areas will be relevant to everyone and there may be other issues that you want to raise that are particularly important to you. You’ll get the chance to do this during your HNA.
You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to talk about. However, we hope that you will feel you can be open and honest with us so that we can understand your needs and help you, if necessary.
The person carrying out your HNA may be a member of staff or a beneficiary who has volunteered to help. Everyone carrying out the assessments has received the same special training and is subject to the same strict rules of confidentiality (see our Confidentiality factsheet). If you prefer to talk only to a member of staff or to another beneficiary, let us know when we contact you to arrange a visit. It might cause a slight delay but we will try to accommodate your request.
Ideally the HNA will be carried out at your home, as this gives you an opportunity to show us what life is like for you where you live.
You should allow two hours for the HNA. This may vary either way depending on what you want to talk about.
Usually it will be just you and the person carrying out the HNA who’ll be present at the assessment, giving you the chance to speak freely and completely confidentially on a one-to-one basis. You can have someone with you if you prefer, but we do ask for at least some of the time alone with you, so that you have the opportunity to talk about anything that you might feel uncomfortable saying in front of someone close to you. Most of the time only one person will come from the Trust, but if we are training a new person, we may ask if they can come to observe. In these cases we’ll always ask your permission in advance and will understand completely if you prefer not to have another person present.
After the HNA the person who visited you will write up their report of the visit, together with the actions you have agreed together. This will be checked for quality and consistency by a senior member of staff in the Trust and then sent to you to check it accurately reflects the conversation and we haven’t missed anything important. Once you have confirmed you are happy with the notes and actions, we’ll pass them to the appropriate person, whether it is a member of staff, a volunteer, another organisation (with your permission) or you. We will then add the notes to your beneficiary file and update our records. Only Trust staff will have access to completed reports.
Even if you feel you have everything you need, it is important for us to know so that we can get a realistic picture of the whole beneficiary experience. We’d love to understand how you are managing so well, so that other beneficiaries can learn from what has worked for you. Even if the conversation is short, it’s also an opportunity for us to get to know each other, and make contact easier in the future.
The Trust no longer conducts IBRs, but the HNA builds on the element of the IBR process that beneficiaries valued most - the opportunity to discuss their needs and concerns with someone who understood how they were feeling and the challenges they might face.
It gives you the opportunity to have a conversation about your general wellbeing and find solutions to meet your needs that will benefit you in the short, medium and long term. The HNA has no link to your 6(iv)b figure and will not change or affect your Annual Grant or Health Grant.
You don’t need to apply to have an HNA. We will contact you when we are scheduling HNAs in your area. Everyone will be offered an HNA over the next few years. We look forward to visiting you.