8th March 2013

On the 8th March 2013, the Challenging Behaviour National Strategy Group (CB-NSG) held its bi-annual meeting. This meeting focused on the refresh of Unified Approach and how policy can be transformed into action.

The CB-NSG 03/13meeting began with a talk from Ann Earley, mother of Simon who spent 15 months in Winterbourne View and was featured in the Panorama programme. Professor Martin Knapp (London School of Economics) then presented research on the costs and benefits of early intervention, before Christine Lenehan (Council for Disabled Children) spoke about the reforms and the opportunities for getting it right for children.

To conclude the morning session, Roger Banks (Royal College of Psychiatrists) and Alick Bush (British Psychological Society) outlined their plans for the Unified Approach refresh. They invited people to take part in one of three group work sessions, each focused on a chapter of Unified Approach, to input their views into this important document.

The afternoon session opened with an update on the Improvement Board from Beverley Dawkins (Mencap), who was recently elected to represent the CB-NSG on the Board.

Chris Bull (Learning DisabilitiesImprovement Programme, NHS Commissioning Board & Local Government Association)then presented on the DH review and how this can be put into action, before Geoff Baines (South Strategic Health Authority) spoke about the service specification and how we can make this work.

The final presentation came from Sam Sly (Beyond Limits) who discussed how we can break down barriers and support people placed in out of area specialist hospitals to return to their local communities.

Three more workshops were then carried out simultaneously, focusing on chapters of Unified Approach.

Finally, Dr Roger Banks closed the meeting with a short talk on the next steps and how we can ensure that policy is transformed into action.

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

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