During 2015, a number of Transforming Care “fast-track” areas across the country have been trialling new approaches to planning  future services for people with learning disability and/or autism who may have mental health needs and display behaviour that challenges. 


This Autumn, the Transforming Care Programme (ADASS, LGA, DH, NHS E, CQC, HEE) will be publishing a new Service Model, along with a Transformation Plan and a Roadmap, following the early experience of the fast-track areas.   The required work will include:

  • Ensuring there is a clear focus on preventing admissions by identifying those who might be most at risk of such admission and commissioning and delivering services that will enable them to stay out of inpatient settings
  • Putting in place community-based services to support people who are currently still living in inpatient settings, so that they can move out of these settings, as soon as possible
  • Ensuring early intervention starts at the earliest possible stage, including in childhood
  • Supporting a universal shift in thinking so that hospitals are never considered to be a home.

Under the programme, it is planned that local authorities will work collaboratively, and join with CCGs and NHS specialised commissioners in a number of Transforming Care Partnerships.  The geographic footprint to be covered by each of the Transforming Care Partnerships is still to be finalised, but it is anticipated that there will be about 50 across England. There is some early thinking on this, based on patient and learning disability population data and information from CCGs, and this now needs to be tested out with Local Authorities to ensure that the footprint makes sense locally, and will work in practice.


Support and information will be provided to branches through the national collaborative learning disability policy network, and local authorities are now asked to start considering how collaborative working across local authority and CCG boundaries could bring added value to commissioning for this complex group in their region.


Some local authorities may wish to have more influence on the development of the national  work, through participation in the ADASS national collaborative learning disability policy network.  The membership list is currently being refreshed, and if your local authority is able to take a more active part in the network meetings (every two months over the next six months to March 2016), please contact Hilary Paxton, Assistant Director Transforming Care, on hilary.paxton@adass.org.uk.


Please also note the availability of Funding for positive behavioural support (PBS) and autism awareness training through the ‘Transforming Care’ programme from Skills for Care, Health Education England and Skills for Health, who are working in partnership to support workforce development to enable people who display behaviour which challenges to be supported well in their local communities.  This fund will enable individual bids for funding of up to £8k to pay for training for staff to develop these essential skills.


Note, it is also anticipated that the Government will this Winter publish its response to the views received following the “No voice unheard, no right ignored” consultation, to support the vision that  all people with learning disabilities, autism or mental health issues should be treated with dignity and respect by health and care services and enjoy the same rights as everyone else.