We had to deal with a wide range of challenging behaviours at Vincent House, from those clients who screamed, bit, scratched and generally behaved in all manner of different ways. We were trained in what was called Control and Restraint. Most of those members of staff who had been working there the longest had been trained in this, but those of us who were new had to go through quite a rigorous week's training to obtain a certificate which allowed us to use this technique in times when certain clients needed handling in a specific manner. We were also trained in what was called breakaway, which allowed us to deal with clients who could pull you hair, hold on to you etc etc. This was very useful and I had to use this on several occasions. The training was done in an old ward at Bromham Hospital. It took me two attempts before I gained my certificate.
I eventually had to leave Vincent House when I was hit quite severely by one particular client and have still got the scars of this incident, not physical, but two of my upper spinal discs have been damaged as a result and I was put off work for several months and then I had to resign. I eventually got a job working at Macintyre Care at Westoning in Hathaway House. This was a similar situation to Bromham Hospital in that the wooden accomodation had outgrown it's usefullness since they had been built in the late 1960's when Macintyre was set up and had by then got to the point where they were not safe for habitation, being fire hazards and it was decided to re-home the residents there into new homes in the same way as the residents had been who had lived in Bromham Hospital.
It must have been a real shock to some of them, if not all, as at Bromham Hospital most of the services were 'on-site,' with things like dentistry, sensory, etc were there within waling distance of their accommodation, and the residents lived on large wards with around ten people living in one large, communal ward, with meals served at set times. To suddenly live in a suburban setting, with no more than six other people, must have been an almighty culture shock. They would have their own rooms, and have to make decisions such as what to eat, what to wear and even what sort of wallpaper they would have in their rooms. Some had the option to actually choose what to eat and even when to eat the food, and go shopping for it.