17th October 2014

On the 17th October 2014, the Challenging Behaviour National Strategy Group (CB-NSG) held its bi-annual meeting.


The theme of the meeting was ‘Skills, Leadership & Development’.


The meeting began with a talk entitled ‘Claire’s Care: Claire’s Way’ from Jenny & Robert Steeples, mother and brother to Claire, an adult with severe learning disabilities and behaviour described as challenging. They described Claire’s ‘life-story’ and her current support arrangements, designed around her needs, which enabled her to  enjoy  a range of activities. Christine Rose (Association for Real Change) spoke about ‘Active Support: Manager as coach’, highlighting how true active support promotes engagement in meaningful activities and the building of relationships. Christine was followed by Tony Holland (University of Cambridge) who spoke about ‘The elements of a successful local intensive support team and the importance of leadership’.

At this meeting we introduced poster presentations. Isabel Clare & Tony Holland (University of Cambridge) were the first to present their poster ‘After Winterbourne View: how can specialist community support teams provide better support for men and women with learning disabilities and additional mental health and/or behavioural needs’. They were followed by Edwin Jones (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board) presenting his poster on ‘Accredited Qualifications in Positive Behaviour Support’. Next were Karin Fuchs & Peggy Ravoux (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation) with ‘Post Winterbourne: An enhanced intervention team pilot for people with learning disabilities displaying behaviour that challenges’ and finally Maria Hughes, Jill McGarry & Jenna Westbrook (University of Salford) presenting their poster on ‘Returning from out of area placements: The impact on quality of life for people with learning disabilities’. Attendees were invited to ask questions about the poster presentations in the break.


Workshop presentations throughout the day invited people to input their views and develop action plans in group work sessions. There were three sessions in the morning and three in the afternoon.


The morning sessions were as follows:


  1. Implementing a PBS Competency Framework’, Louise Denne (Project Manager, PBS Competencies) discussed the concerns leading clinicians have around PBS, including the fact that PBS has been recommended in the absence of a clear conceptual framework. The implementation of a framework was discussed and groups were asked to gather ideas around the necessary competencies, the barriers to implementation and gaps in the evidence base. Click here to view the outcomes of the workshop.
  2. Bristol Intensive Positive Behavioural Support service for children with learning disabilities at risk of school exclusion’, Freddy Jackson Brown (North Bristol NHS Trust).This workshop began with an introduction to the Bristol Service, which was followed by questions and a discussion about the schools system, the role of teachers and providing the right support. Click here to view the outcomes of the workshop.
  3. ‘Life at School: Giving Children a Voice’, Vivian Hill (Institute of Education), discussed research into eliciting the views of children and young people who are at residential school. A video made during the research process was shown. Click here to view the outcomes of the workshop.


After Lunch attendees heard how two different services meet complex needs. Julie Smith (Getta Life) spoke about how her small, local provider organisation handles ‘Building a skilled support team around a person’ and Claire Jackson & Chris Abbott (Michael Rutter Centre) spoke about ‘SCAAND’ the Service for Complex Autism & Associated Neurodevelopmental Disorders.


The afternoon action planning sessions were:

  1. Translating the 5 communication standards into practice’, Jill Bradshaw (Tizard Centre, University of Kent). The workshop introduced and discussed the standards and attendees suggested additional areas that they would like the standards to cover as well as discussing methods for translating the standards into practice. Please click here to view the outcomes.
  2. Building & Rebuilding Adult Intensive Support Teams’, Peter Baker (Challenging Needs Service, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust). The workshop explored provision of intensive support teams and discussed the need for such teams. Highlighted during discussion was the importance of a shared ethos within organisations that provide services and the importance of sharing good practice. Please click here to view the outcomes.
  3. The ‘Positive Behaviour Support Academy’ workshop with David Allen discussed the proposal for a Positive Behaviour Support Academy for England and invited participants to feed into the idea and sought both advice and comments on where the proposal should be taken next. Please click here to view the outcomes. 
    • One of the action points arising from the workshop was to consult more widely on the idea of the Academy. The CBF subsequently set up a Survey Monkey poll in order to do so. The survey attracted almost 300 responses in a short period of time, the summary results of which can be found here.


Written updates were provided by the steering group on progress made since the last CB-NSG meeting.

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