I’ve been working for The Wallich for 13 years now. Previously on the frontline, I began my current role in Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) in April 2020 and, as you might imagine, COVID-19 meant my first year in post has been nothing like I’d envisaged it would be.
Reflection is a key component of a PIE to evolve and improve the work that you’re doing. So, as well as reading, researching, and learning, I spent a lot of time reflecting on The Wallich’s overall PIE journey during those initial few months in lockdown.
While PIE is a recent recommendation of the Welsh Government Homelessness Action Group, we began our organisational rollout in 2016. I had my own thoughts on the original core PIE training, resources and how well things had been embedded so far, but I wanted to know what the rest of the organisation thought.
To do this, I designed and sent out a PIE survey to all staff at The Wallich. The response rate was high which meant the results gave me a good picture of what people thought of our PIE journey to date.
There were several strong positive responses affirming PIE as a positive force for the people we support.
• Most respondents believed PIE improves relationships with service users.
• Most believed The Wallich provides enough wellbeing support to staff.
• Most strongly believed PIE has improved things for them since its introduction.
The survey results also highlighted several barriers and challenges that people had experienced with the organisational PIE rollout so far.
• Many respondents found PIE complex or confusing.
• Some found PIE difficult to apply practically in their roles.
• PIE had been too focused on building-based services and the physical environment, so other service types struggled to see the relevance to them or their roles.
This was important for me as it affirmed some of my own reflections and the lessons learned here has helped guide my work and solidify some of my decision making.
My quest to address some of these challenges led me to PIE Link.
PIE Link is an online community of practice facilitated by Robin Johnson, who is widely credited with coining the term PIE, and is a contributor to much of the early literature.
Here I discovered PIE 2.0, an update to the classic framework that we had been following so far.
The framework had evolved since 2017 to address some of the problems and challenges that had been raised with the original framework.
Importantly for my survey findings this included:
• Simplified language assisting understanding of the most misunderstood areas.
• A new area focused on the day-to-day practical aspects of a service.
• An updated area giving scope for all types of services to see themselves within the framework, not just those with buildings.
In addition, PIE 2.0 makes relationships a central key theme rather than a separate area to be managed as in the classic framework.
I especially like this, as for me PIE is all about relationships.
At its most basic, I believe the PIE framework simply gives us a set of lenses to view our work and see whether what we do builds and sustains healthy relationships with all participants – to create a better quality of life for the people we support.
At The Wallich, we have adopted the evolved PIE 2.0 framework to guide the work we do.