New guidelines for services for people with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges

Our chief executive, Jonathan Senker, is chair of the NICE guideline committee on services for people with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges. The new guidelines are out now.

Here Jonathan explains the main recommendations, and why he thinks they will help people to lead a good life.

Jonathan is the Chief Executive of VoiceAbility, he has worked with people with learning disabilities throughout his career and also has a sister who has a learning disability. As guideline chair, Jonathan shares his thoughts on why this guideline is important to the social care sector.

"Having the right assistance can enable people who have a learning disability and display behaviour that challenges to enjoy a good life. Yet the lack of timely, well-tailored support continues to have a devastating effect on far too many people and families. This guideline recommends how support can be designed to address this.

"The guideline calls for a lead commissioner to be appointed to oversee arrangements for people with learning disabilities across health and social care, the pooling of budgets and named coordinators for individual people. It advocates early intervention and support for families so that services don't wait for a crisis to act. The focus is on developing capacity and capability locally and support for people close to home, whilst minimising the use of inpatient services.

"There's no one size fits all solution; on the contrary, the guideline suggests that support is designed based on the views of people and their families together with an understanding of the evidence about what works."

This guideline promotes a lifelong approach to supporting people focusing on prevention and early intervention. Recommendations cover services for children, young people and adult's across health and social care.

If you're a commissioner or provider of health and social care services for people with learning disabilities, this guideline is for you. The guideline is also aimed at health and social care practitioners working with children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges.

NICE have produced an EasyRead version of the advice, to download click here.

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