A Skilled, Supported Workforce

Here you can see the actions being taken by CB-NSG members and other individuals around creating a skilled, supported workforce.

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This is a ‘living document’, capturing what is currently being done, and/or actions that are planned – it will be updated as and when progress is made and as more actions are taken. It brings together a range of activities and work being carried out by various individuals and organisations and aims to co-ordinate and amplify the impact. If you think that something you are doing aligns with the themes of the action plan and you’d like to consider including it as one of these actions, please get in touch.


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A Skilled, Supported Workforce



Producing a guide and toolkit for commissioners 

This will include examples of good practice and will share relevant resources and research.


    • A survey has been developed and sent out to CB-NSG members to help identify what commissioners need to know, what they need to avoid, and what key examples/resources should be included 
    • Survey responses have been analysed, and key themes have been identified 
    • Links have been made with NHSE about resources for commissioners 

Next steps: 

    • To develop a survey for commissioners to identify what they already know, what they would like to know, and what formats they would find most useful 


Supporting people to understand what is meant by ‘trauma-informed support’ 

A statement on what is meant by ‘trauma-informed support’ is being developed, to help raise awareness of what this means and prevent it from becoming a ‘buzzword’ with no clear definition.


Sharing good practice on recruiting and retaining staff 

A 1-page resource is being developed about how to recruit and retain staff, which will contain examples and case studies. 

Work is also underway to collect and share examples of good staff support and ways to promote staff wellbeing.

If you have any examples of good practice around supporting staff wellbeing that you would like to be included in this, or a case study for successfully recruiting and retaining staff, please email


Raising awareness and increasing understanding of the role of integrated care boards (ICBs) 

We will be contacting ICBs to ask them about their plans to support children, young people and adults with a learning disability whose behaviour challenges, and will be offering to support them with developing policy and practice.


Increasing the evidence base around the effectiveness of the Community Discharge Grant (CDG) 

The Community Discharge Grant (CDG) is a grant that was given to local authorities between 2020 and 2023 to support them with ‘double-running costs’ – meaning that housing and support could be funded and put in place so that it was ready for them as soon as they are discharged. This grant ended in 2023, but a formal evaluation of how effective it was at supporting people to move back into their communities hasn’t yet been carried out. 

A survey will be carried out, asking how useful the CDG was and whether people who used it in their work would like to see it extended, examples of how it was used – and what things it made it possible to do that wouldn’t have been possible without it, and, if it was reintroduced, what things it would enable them to do. 


    • Survey in development – questions being finalised 

Next steps: 

    • Target and distribute survey 


Identifying what impact the Transforming Care and Building the Right Support programmes have had on local learning disability teams 

The Transforming Care programme was set up in 2012, and its successor, Building the Right Support, was introduced in 2015 – but there isn’t clear evidence of what impact these programmes have had on local learning disability teams. As a key part of providing community support for children, young people and adults with a learning disability whose behaviour challenges, we want to know whether local learning disability teams have been positively impacted as a result of these programmes being in place. 

To gather data on what impact these programmes have had, we will be contacting local learning disability teams and asking about their funding and staffing levels, which will help us to measure the impact that these programmes have had on these teams. By gathering this information, we are hoping that this will provide us with an evidence base that can be used to support local learning disability teams and to campaign for any changes that are needed. 


    • Questions have been developed and agreed 
    • Work has begun to identify ICB learning disability leads, to help us a) contact and b) learn more about local learning disability teams – however, not all ICBs have made their learning disability leads public, so we have been working with NHS England to raise awareness of this statutory duty 

Next steps: 

    • Continue working to identify ICB leads and local learning disability teams, including writing to ICBs and local authorities 
    • Once contact has been established, we will send them the agreed questions 


Supporting the development of ‘capable environments’ 

‘Capable environments’ are environments that are able to support children, young people and adults with a learning disability whose behaviour challenges in a person-centred way – improving quality of life and, in many cases, reducing behaviours that challenge. 

CB-NSG members will: 

    • Review the literature on, and identify the key features of, capable environments 
    • Based on this, identify what conditions and training are required for an environment to be ‘capable’, and how these can be put in place 
    • Work to influence the development of capable environments through a) CB-NSG networks, and networks of CB-NSG members, b) local and regional policy and practice, and c) national policy 


Working to tackle closed cultures 

The CBF are currently partners on a project called ‘Insider Voices’, which is working to change closed cultures within the NHS. 


Next steps: 

    • Share the learning from this project at the CB-NSG national meeting in May 2024 
    • Identify how the learning and recommendations from this project can be shared and embedded widely 


Working to bridge the gap between people working within inpatient settings and community settings 

CB-NSG members working within both community settings and inpatient settings shared that there are differences in how people work. They raised concerns that only working in an inpatient setting, or only working in the community, meant that it was difficult to understand how the ‘other side’ works, and that this was potentially limiting how effectively people with a learning disability could be supported. 

The CB-NSG is exploring how staff rotation could work between community settings and inpatient settings, with the aim of increasing knowledge of the corresponding setting, helping people to think about how things can be done differently, and preventing ‘institutionalisation’ of staff. 



Using regulatory powers to ensure that good practice is upheld 

There are currently a number of changes happening at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), including: changes to how they conduct inspections; beginning inspections of ICBs and local authorities; and introducing a new standard on visiting. This is happening at the same time as a range of changes, including the new Care (Education) and Treatment Reviews policy and the Dynamic Support Registers policy.  

The CB-NSG will work to increase knowledge of how regulatory powers are being used and how effective they are at ensuring that children, young people and adults with a learning disability are getting the support that they need to live good lives in their local communities. If necessary, the CB-NSG will also work to influence the introduction of new regulatory powers that will strengthen the ability to uphold the rights of people with a learning disability, ensure that safeguarding is strong, and uphold good practice. 

For more information on these actions, including if you are interested in being involved in any of them, please email 

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