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Upcoming events that KCBN members are involved in:

FREE Staff Retention and Recruitment Program – Various dates and locations

Quality of Life and Wellbeing in Autism – 1st July 2016, The Inn on the Lake Hotel. A2, Shorne, Nr Gravesend, Kent DA12 3HB

IABA Gary LaVigna PBS Training, Positive Practices in Behavioural Support (4-day) sponsored by The Regard Partnership and Kent Autistic Trust – Manchester: 25 – 28 October 2016; London: 01 – 04 November 2016

If you’re involved in an event you would like to add, contact

For information, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is seeking to appoint members to the Guideline Committee for Models of service delivery for people with learning disabilities and behavior that challenges. The KCBN encourages members to apply. Information below:

Dear Colleague


RE: NICE committee to develop guidelines on social care: Service model for people with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges


We are recruiting members for one of our Guideline Committees.


We are looking for both lay members (people using services, family members and carers, and members of the public and community or voluntary sector) and people with a professional or practitioner background in the topic.


If you or any of your colleagues would like to apply, there are more details on the NICE website. The deadline for applications is 03/09/15 at 17:00.


Further information and how to apply – general

Further information and how to apply – service users and carers

Further information and how to apply – service users and carers (easy read)


We would appreciate it if you could circulate this information widely in your organisation and to any other people or organisations who may be interested in this topic.


If you have any queries about Committee membership or the recruitment process, please contact Palida Teelucknavan –


Comment on draft scope


The draft scope for the NICE guideline on Service model for people with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges is out for consultation and we would like to know what you think about it. The draft scope defines what aspects of care the guideline will cover and to whom it will apply.  

Comment on the consultation

Closing date: 12/08/15



The Kent Learning Disability Partnership Awards highlight the work we do in Kent and celebrate our unsung heroes.

Nominations will close at 5pm on Friday, 24th July 2015 and the awards will be presented on 13th October 2015 at County Hall.

There are a number of categories under which nominations can be made:

  1. Employer of a person with a learning disability
  2. Supported housing
  3. Supporting people with a learning disability (team or individual)
  4. Citizenship awards
  5. People’s award
  6. Helping people stay healthy

If you know of someone you think deserves this special recognition, do take a few minutes to fill in the easy nomination form.

The National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidance titled:

Challenging behaviour and learning disabilities: prevention and interventions for people with learning disabilities whose behaviour challenges

As the title suggests, the guidance gives a comprehensive overview of many aspects of assessment and intervention with children, young people and adults that engage in behaviours described as challenging.  The guidance closely follows the principles of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) including the importance of;

  • Involving the person and stakeholders in assessments/interventions.
  • Functional assessment, involving a variety of tools and methods.
  • Developing behaviour support plans which include both proactive (to avoid the occurrence of challenging behaviour) and reactive strategies (how to respond to challenging behaviour when it occurs).
  • Intervention to increase quality of life for the person and stakeholders and reducing challenging behaviours.

There is a strong emphasis throughout the document for all people involved at every level to understand the processes of assessment and intervention, and the aims of intervening. Throughout the guidance, there are references and links to relevant legislation and other NICE guidance.

Further to the NICE guidance on challenging behaviour and learning disabilities, a consultation is now open for a draft NICE challenging behaviour and learning disabilities quality standard. To view the quality standard and participate in the consultation see their website.

The consultation period started on 29th May, and finishes Friday 26th June 2015.

Further information about how organisations can register as stakeholders for this quality standard can be found via this link.

This year’s conference was titled Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Practice: Simplifying person centred approaches and aimed to underline the important role that staff Conf Snapshotplay in implementing person centred practices such as Positive Behaviour Support and Active Support.  The programme was based on three publications released earlier this year and we were fortunate to have excellent speakers, several of whom were involved in producing this work.  As always, the KCBN Annual Conference is a great opportunity to learn about best practice, hear what is happening in Kent and network with colleagues.  The full programme is available here.

This year’s conference was chaired by Rob Marno (SPECS) and Jimmy Kerrigan (NHS South East Commissioning Support Unit).  Bob Tindall (United Response) and Steve James (Avenues) were our keynote speakers, setting the scene with talks on how organisations can support staff to use person centred approaches and calling for a rethink of the way services are commissioned in order to enable these approaches, to prevent abuses such as what happened at Winterbourne View and to allow change.  Jimmy Kerrigan focussed on this theme in the workshop session Why are people with learning disabilities failed by commissioning?

Bev Ashman (United Response) and Andrea Wiggins (Avenues) outlined how Positive Behaviour Support and Active Support influence practice and developed this further in their workshops sessions: Person Centred Outcomes: more than bits of paper; Practice Leadership: the only way to ensure we do as we say; and Person Centred Active Support: no more “just wait a minute”.  Roy Deveau (Tizard Centre) also presented a workshop on Practice Leadership, a topic that is being recognised as a critical element for ensuring good quality support.  Marie Lovell (Skills for Care) outlined the Skills for Care projects for developing A Positive and Proactive Workforce.  Dene Donalds (northwest Development Team and Pathways Associates) presented a workshop on Person Centred Approaches and Mindfulness, a theme that a number of KCBN providers have been exploring, based on the paper Mindfully Valuing People Now.

Dr Peter Baker (Tizard Centre) tied together the day’s presentations and made the case for Positive Behaviour Support as an evidence based approach to supporting people who exhibit challenging behaviour in his talk Positive Behaviour Support: Singing from the same hymn sheet.  To complement this, Nick Barratt (Dimensions) presented a workshop on PBS approaches, Developing Basic Behaviour Support Strategies.

As with previous conferences, the day provided a great opportunity for networking and learning about some of the really good practice that happens in Kent.   A summary of delegate feedback is available here.

Kent County Council has published their Accommodation Strategy for Social Care, Better Homes: Greater Choice.  The strategy identifies how the provision, demand and aspiration for housing, care and support services will be met for adult social care clients. The KCC vision is that people should live independently in their own home receiving the right care and support. However, if that option is not suitable, the right accommodation solutions have to be in the right places across the county. This vision is coupled with improved commissioning of services across each of the six adult social care client groups (older people, mental health, physical disability, sensory disability, autism and learning disability).

KCBN members are encouraged to use the Strategy to inform business plans. The proposed improvements to commissioning centre on furthering the personalisation agenda in the county through use of a more person centred approach. This means not placing people where services happen to be but providing services that will meet people’s needs where they want to live. There is also a focus on modernisation, with minimum standards for service design included in the strategy. The document provides information about the current levels of housing and care home provision across Kent, identifying future needs for each client group, so should prove useful to service providers.

United Response has produced three new publications to share their wealth of experience in supporting people to live successfully and happily in their communities.  Many thanks to United Response for sharing this excellent work.

Transforming Care – An overview of the United Response approach to supporting people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour to live in their community.

New Referral Checklist – What needs to be considered when setting up new services for people with challenging behaviour.  Development of partnership agreements; defining roles and responsibilities; service design; staff skills; living environment; practice leadership.

Positive Behaviour Support and Active Support – Produced with The Tizard Centre and The Avenues Trust to show the extent to which Active Support underpins Positive Behaviour Support.  The KCBN believes these approaches need to be central to any good support service.


Driving Up Quality Code


The Driving Up Quality Code was created as part of the Winterbourne View Concordat and Programme of Action.  It requires providers and commissioners to make a commitment to listen to the people they support and support them to build lives that have meaning for them. The aim of the Code is to achieve change in the care sector so that good organisations can flourish and poor providers can be driven out.



The code is built around five simple commitments:

  1. Support is focussed on the person
  2. The person is supported to have an ordinary and meaningful life
  3. Care and support focusses on people being happy and having a good quality of life
  4. A good culture is important to the organisation
  5. Managers and board members lead and run the organisation well

The KCBN has signed up to the Driving Up Quality Code and encourages all of our members to do so. Find out more about the Code and how to sign up here.

2013 ConferenceThe focus of this year’s conference was how organisations can support front line staff and managers as it is recognised that they do a very challenging and at times extremely difficult job, especially when assisting people who engage in behaviours of concern.  At this time in the social care sector there is unprecedented pressure to deliver high quality services in the most cost effective way resulting in increasing pressure on the workforce as their resources are trimmed.

Ultimately people with learning disabilities will be more likely to engage in behaviour of concern if they do not have a good quality of life.  Well supported, skilled and motivated staff are the most important ingredient to deliver quality services and make a positive impact on quality of life for the people they support.

The conference sought to raise this profile, share best practice throughout Kent and recognise the importance of the work of direct support staff.  We were fortunate to have a range of great speakers, all of whom donated their time to make the event a success.   As usual, registration and chairing for the event was ably handled by SPECS.

Andy McDonnell, founder of the Studio III Group, gave an inspirational keynote address tying together low arousal approaches, dealing with staff stress, happiness, wellbeing and empathy to show that the things important to us are also pretty important to the people we support.  Nick Gore (Tizard Centre), Chris Gregory (Avenues) and David Miland (mcch) presented findings from their project introducing mindfulness to care staff as a stress reduction technique.  Ben Renton (Insight) talked about his research into empathy in male support staff.  Jamie Emberson (Positive Behaviour) outlined approaches to managing negative thoughts and emotions.

Delegates also had the opportunity to attend workshop sessions:

We hope that everyone who attended was inspired by the day and perhaps were able to make some positive changes in their work.  Look for news of the 2014 Conference, if you would like to be involved as a presenter or organiser, contact us at

In the UK, most people with learning disabilities live with their families or in residential care. Many people continue to live in the family home into adulthood because they have few other choices, and a care home is not an option most people want. In response to this the Housing and Support Alliance (H&SA), the Cameron Trust and the Centre for Welfare Reform today launch Investing in Ordinary Lives: innovations in housing for people with learning disabilities, an initiative to increase the supply of housing for people with learning disabilities by drawing on alternative sources of funding.

Investing in Ordinary Lives launches with four briefing papers:

  • How can wealthy individuals invest in housing for people with learning disabilities?
  • Investing in housing for people with learning disabilities through Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • How can small landlords invest in housing for people with learning disabilities?
  • How corporate investors and lenders can invest in housing for people with learning disabilities?

The H&SA and Cameron Trust will then work together to encourage investment and broker the partnerships needed to create more housing. Over the coming months the two organisations will:

  •  Promote Investing in Ordinary Lives nationally to investors and organisations.
  • Work with H&SA members to match people with learning disabilities who need housing to landlords.
  • Through the Cameron Trust, develop a web based facility to match landlords to people with disabilities that will include tools for investors to make choices about the best avenues for investment and tools for people needing housing to make informed choices.

 Investing in Ordinary Lives briefing papers and more information are available here.

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