Transforming Complex Care Conference


Thursday 15th October 2015


On Thursday 15th October we held our annual educational based conference at AMP Technology Centre in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.


The event entitled Transforming Care for Individuals with Learning Disability and Complex Needs was CPD certified and focused on a number of topics surrounding the Transforming Care Agenda following Winterbourne View in 2011.


The Transforming Care Conference was well attended by over 80 delegates; 72% from external organisations and 28% internal staff. Social workers, Commissioners, Case Managers and Psychologists were just some of the occupations of the audience that benefitted from the knowledge and experiences shared by our speakers on the day.


The content covered on the day was rated as either excellent or good by 94% of delegates and encompassed a range of perspectives of transforming complex care for individuals with learning disability and complex needs.

Bill Fox, founder and Executive Chairman of Maybo explored the key ingredients for creating positive and safe environments, which are the foundations for quality of life- and work. He also looked at positive and reactive person centred plans, reducing restrictive practices and the facilitation of leaning and change with learning disability services. Bill’s presentation can be viewed here.


Derek and Edna Thomas were the first of two parent speakers on the day who shared very personal experiences from a parent’s perspective of the complex care system. Derek is a clinical psychologist by profession who has led a national government agency in the development of person centred services for people with a learning disability and Edna Robinson Thomas has been an NHS CEO, special advisor to the Secretary of State, is a nurse, midwife and Chair of the Big Life Group of companies and of Trafford Housing Trust. They shared their very personal and moving account of their experiences of the care system in respect of their child and how talked to the audience about the changes they’d like to see with the current system and the impact these changes could have on both theirs and their child’s lives.

Professor Leam Craig a Consultant Forensic & Clinical Psychologist spoke about working with sexual offenders with intellectual disabilities and the research he has done around sexual and violent offenders with learning disability. Leam talked about cognitive based therapy for men with intellectual disability that commit sex offenses needing to be lengthy and that treatment groups should be expected to run for a minimum of one year. He stated that there is evidence to suggest that in this client group there are significantly better outcomes for sex offenders treated for two years. Read more about Professor Craig’s research into sexual offenders with intellectual disability here.


The second of our parent speakers Deacon Jane Gibson concluded the morning session. Jane is a Minister in a small Lancashire village and she shared her experiences with the room about being a mother to two children with complex needs. Jane spoke very candidly about the care settings her children have been in, the effects on the entire family and her hopes for both of her children’s futures.


The afternoon session was opened by Dr Rebecca Fish a research at Lancaster University who presented to delegates the findings of her recently completed PhD which explore the experiences of women who use low and medium secure learning disability services in the North of England using an ethnographic approach. The study explored how women came to be at the unit and their experiences of day-to-day life as played out through relationships with staff and other service users. To view Dr Fish’s presentation entitled A ethnography of locked wards for learning disabled women click here.


Robin Colley, Assistant Psychologist at Lighthouse Healthcare was the next speaker and he presented a case study of a client he has been working with at  Healthlinc House our learning disability hospital service in Lincolnshire. Robin spoke about the benefits of bespoke care in a single occupancy environment in our award winning High Intensity Service. Robin spoke about client ‘Emma’, her background, diagnosis, treatment plan and the successful outcomes that have been achieved as a result of a person centred with a structured, clear and consistent approach. Robin discussed the number of positive outcomes for ‘Emma’ as a result of our robust, bespoke care provision; a reduction in incidents since admission, strong engagement with psychology sessions, involvement in developing a clear timetable and building positive relationships with staff. View Robin’s presentation here.


The final speaker of the day was Dr Steve Hinder a consultant psychiatrist for people with intellectual disability who works for Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust. Dr Hinder has spoken at a number of our conferences in the past and has proved to be a very popular speaker with delegates and this year was no exception. For this year’s conference Steve focused on the complex relationship between learning disability and severe autism and challenged the diagnostic process and asked delegates to think outside the box around their existing thoughts on learning disability and autism. He challenged delegates to not accept “challenging behaviour” as a diagnosis in their clients and also put forward some thought provoking opinions on focusing on the specialist needs of the autistic majority in our services and reframing challenging behaviour in developing more appropriate solutions and support for clients. Read Dr Steve Hinder’s presentation here.


As always we asked delegates for their feedback on the event and we had a positive response in that 90% rated the day as either excellent or good and 97% said that the quality of the speakers was either excellent or good.

Read and share the latest News, Views and Resources across the Elysium group