13th October 2016

 This Challenging Behaviour - National Strategy Group (CB NSG) meeting was held jointly with the Learning Disability Professional Senate. The theme for the day was ‘Making Sense Together’ and featured presentations of lived experience, workshops delivered by professionals and family carers in partnership, a presentation from NHS England, and a session pulling together discussion from the day to decide concrete actions for the two groups to take forward.




The beginning of the day was an excellent demonstration of why services need to work together. Three presentations were given by family carers and people with learning disabilities, who shared with attendees their own personal experiences.        

  • Jill Nasralla gave the opening presentation, which was a powerful account about how her son was the focus of a serious case review following his treatment in an Assessment and Treatment Unit.
  • Next, Shahana Hussain introduced a video of her niece, Fauzia. In the video Fauzia described how she felt about living in an Assessment and Treatment Unit compared to the more appropriate setting she is living in now.
  • A final account of lived experience was given by Michael Mulhall and Dave Williams described how they worked in partnership to support Michael to move out of an inappropriate service and into a house with a housemate of his choosing.

Following these presentations, attendees chose between the following five workshops:

  • Call to Action: Medication and Prescribing. Ashok Roy (Royal College of Psychiatrists) and Holly Young (Challenging Behaviour Foundation) gave an overview of the issues surrounding overmedication, including data from a recent survey which asked family carers about their relative’s experiences of medication. Among other topics, there was much discussion about how multi-professional involvement from the initial assessment stage could help to address over-reliance on medication. Click here to view the outcomes of the workshop.





  • Managing the risks:Supporting local learning disability specialist teams to get people into the least restrictive community environments. Tony Holland (Cambridge University) and Wendy Fiander (Family Carer) led this workshop to discuss which areas of local community support need to change in order to improve risk management and positive risk taking. Conversations included the need for joint working and increased clarity over where certain responsibilities lie and exactly what a service is expected to provide. Click here to view the outcomes of the workshop.


Graphic by Pen Mendonca


After lunch, Julie Higgins (Director of Transformation, NHS Engalnd) and the National Psychiatric Lead, Jean O’Hara, gave a presentation about the progress of the Transforming Care Programme. This was followed by a brief question and answer session before attendees participated in one of the five afternoon workshops. Click here for q and a responses provided by Julie Higgins.

Following this presentation, attendees again chose between five workshops:




  • Protecting Human Rights and upholding the Law. Alex Rook (Irwin Mitchel LLP), Charlotte Skouby (Leigh Day LLP) and Jackie Clarke (Family Carer) co-facilitated this workshop, beginning by presenting case studies to illustrate the issue of human rights violations for people with learning disabilities. The following discussion focussed on topics such as the role of Mental Health Act advocates and solicitors, as well as the use of inappropriate restraint and the value of giving more information to family carers to understand their rights and the rights of their relative. Outcomes of this workshop will be available soon.


In the final session of the day, Cally Ward (Challenging Behaviour Foundation) alongside Crispin Hebron and Sandy Bering (LD Professional Senate) led ‘What Next: Action Planning with the CB-NSG and the LD Professional Senate’. This was an opportunity to discuss the 2 priority actions identified in each workshop and draw them together to determine how they would be achieved. This was a busy session, but led to concrete commitments and a chance for attendees to reflect on how they could also make personal changes. Click here to view a write-up of the session.


Written updates were provided by the steering group on the progress made since the last CB-NSG National Meeting. Click here to view the update.


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