The Hume Whittlesea Primary Care Partnership, 
The North Metro Community Care Alliance 


The Support Loop | Effective Information Sharing in your Team


Staff Training, Aged Care

About the project

This video introduces The Support Loop and explains how organisations can use the Support Loop Resource to improve how they share information in their team.

The Support Loop Resource helps organisations manage support plans, client goals
and feedback from Community Support Workers to ensure reliable, client focussed care
in Home and Community Care services.

The video is distributed on YouTube and on custom printed USB keyrings.
The Support Loop PDF resource is also included on the USB.

This project was jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments
under the HACC program.

Video Transcript

>> Angus:  G’day Sharyn. Sharyn this is Geraldine. Geraldine is our new
Community Support Worker. Sharyn is the manager of our Care Services

>> Sharyn:  Nice to meet you Geraldine. Welcome to the team.

>> Geraldine: Thank you.

>> Sharyn: Hi Margaret.

>> Margaret: Hi Sharyn.

>> Sharyn: And Geraldine how are you settling in.

>> Geraldine: Well thank you, pretty much the same as my last job. There’s one big difference though... This Support Loop thing. We didn’t have anything like this!

>> Sharyn: Yes! It’s working really well for us.
Has the team explained what the Support Loop is?

>> Geraldine It’s been a lot to take in but I remember someone saying it’s a way of
sharing information in our team.

Is that right?

>> Sharyn: Yes, that’s a good way to describe it. And the client is part of the team too.

>> Geraldine: In my old job my biggest frustration was giving feedback about my client
that just got lost or ignored.

I’d love to learn more about how The Support Loop works.

>> Sharyn: Sure, to give you some background. Active Service Model Industry Consultants partnered with over thirty organisations from around Victoria.

People like you and the team here had their say about how we all could do things better.

The result is the Support Loop Resource which I think is just brilliant.

It explains everything we need to know about the Support Loop and how to make it work for our organisation.

There are lots of ideas and templates in there which we adapted to suit us.

We started using the Support Loop resource about a year ago. We made changes in stages over six months.

Is that right guys? 

>> Margaret: Yeah that sounds right. The good thing was that all staff were asked for their input. Clients too.

>> Sharyn: Angus would you like to explain what the Support Loop looks like for us.

>> Angus: Yeah love to.

As you know, it all starts with the client assessment .

I then create the Support Plan and from this I fill in a Summary Information Form based on the template in the resource.

>> Sharyn: It’s in the Sample Tools section on page 23.

>> Angus: The Summary Information Form has the main things the Community Support Worker needs to be aware of.

I give this form to the Community Support Worker.

Margaret can you explain what happens next?

>> Margaret: I’ll try. (Laughs)

This is a form that I base my work with my client on and progress and things to look out for.

>> Geraldine That looks good.

At my old work I’d either get so much information I was drowning in it and never got the time to read it or I’d get hardly any.

>> Margaret: It makes it much easier for me to know the things to look for and to give feedback on.

If I have anything to feedback, I use the feedback form.

>> Angus: We based our form on a template from the Support Loop Resource.

Actually I don’t think we changed anything.

{Everyone agrees.}

>> Margaret: I give the form to my Team Leader.

>> Sharyn: We decided to use hard copies but other organisations use electronic forms on their devices. 

>> Angus: I read carefully through the feedback, make decisions, take any action that needs to take place and let the Community Support Worker know the outcome.

>> Sharyn: The Support Loop is a fantastic resource. It's a great tool for communication. It really is a loop where we are feeding in the information from Support Workers, Assessment officers, clients, the monitoring and the feedback. It all comes together to form part of that loop of information.

>> Geraldine It sounds really good, but isn’t it more work?

>> Margaret: Yeah I was worried about that too but I find that once you get used to it it’s pretty quick to use.

And you will allow yourself time at the end of the shift to complete the form with a client.

That's really good for the client because it keeps them in the loop it also shows that we are following up.

It really helps take a lot of stress out of the job because we're writing the information and we’re passing it on and it will be followed up on.

>> Geraldine It must be hard to work out when you need to give feedback and when you might be worrying about nothing.

>> Angus: We cover how to give feedback in our training and guidelines. We give ongoing support too.

>> Angus:  There might be something that you think is minor but through feedback maybe we start to notice a pattern over several months.

>> Margaret: Our buddy system for Newbies is helpful too. I’m your buddy.

That’s right isn’t it Angus?

>> Angus: Yes, you are in good hands.

The Community Support Workers really are the eyes and ears of our service. You guys have a unique relationship with the clients.

The Support Loop just ensures that all the small and important things you notice don’t get lost.

>> Geraldine That’s a good point. At my old job it sometimes did feel like important details were getting lost.

>> Margaret: Yeah, I need to write things down straight away. That’s why the feedback form is really good.

The other great thing about the feedback forms is it makes things a lot clearer when I go into my client’s home.  The forms give me a structure of what to look out for and when to give feedback.

I feel much more confident now. I have much better back up from the office.

>> Angus: There’s a flow of information, we are all part of a team. Our client too.

>> Margaret: I know that things I follow up on for the client will be acted upon and then services put in place or support plans will be altered or redone to keep that flow for the clients.

>> Angus:  It really helps me because I have a lot of Community Support Workers on my team and a lot of clients.

It helps me see how our clients are going but also how you guys are travelling and whether you need any support.

>> Sharyn: One of the things that is brilliant for me about the Support Loop is that it makes it really clear and easy for team leaders to pass information to me that helps me support everyone in their roles.

Angus I think it’s helped us all understand, trust and respect each other’s roles.

It really reinforces that we are all in the same loop with the client at the centre.

>> Geraldine I hope my old work gets on board with this.

>> Sharyn: Yes, I think any organisation would benefit from going through the Support Loop Resource and tailoring it to what works for them.

Even if they already have a great communication system it’s helpful to be able to review what you are doing.

>> Margaret: The best thing I found is that the feedback has been actioned on and it is a positive result for the client.

>> Geraldine: It might take me a while to get the hang of things but I am really excited and inspired!

>> Sharyn: Welcome aboard!

>> Margaret: Yeah buddy.

>> Angus: We are very happy to have you on the team Geraldine.