Toolkit to audit and improve mental health services for people with learning disabilities refreshed and relaunched


Almost ten years ago, following the publication of the Valuing People White Paper, the Department of Health published the Green Light Toolkit. The toolkit was originally developed to help local people think about existing services for people with learning disabilities and additional mental health needs.

Last month saw the publication of a new version of the toolkit, significantly updated to take account of the changes that have taken place in mental health services since 2004.

This new version of the toolkit follows on from work carried out by the National Development Team for inclusion in 2012. This work resulted in a report about reasonable adjustments being made to mental health services to enable people with autism and those with learning disabilities to get equal access and effective treatment.

The Green Light Toolkit is available on the NDTi website

The Green Light Toolkit is available on the NDTi website

This report showed that in spite of some areas of good and innovative practice, there were few areas where mental health services offered people with autism or learning disabilities fair access and effective interventions.

The Green Light Toolkit therefore has been refreshed to offer local services an audit framework alongside guidance on making service improvements. In addition to the toolkit, the NDTi have also worked with the Learning Disabilities Public Health Observatory to build a database of reasonable adjustments which is a resource for people seeking model innovations and a forum for peer learning.


The full Green Light Toolkit can be downloaded here: Green Light Toolkit 2013: A guide to auditing and improving your mental health service so that it is effective in supporting people with autism and people with learning disabilities, November 2013, National Development Team for Inclusion; NHS Confederation; Department of Health

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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