Researchers develop quality framework for personalised support arrangements

Analysis showed significant lack of robust evidence on impact or cost effectiveness

Personalisation is a cornerstone of policy for supporting people with learning disabilities. This study set out to look at the nature, purposes and outcomes of personalised residential supports from the perspectives of people with disabilities, family members and service providers, with a view to developing a quality framework for future evaluation.

The researchers identified four criteria to aid the conception of support arrangements which were – a high degree of: individualisation; individual/family influence; informal relationships and person-centredness.

They collected data through a review of literature; case studies of six adults carried out over two years; a focus group of adults with learning disabilities and written surveys of 18 experts in personalised support arrangements (family members, service providers and policymakers.) The analysis of these datasets enabled the development of the quality framework

The analysis identified nine themes: assumptions, leadership, my home, one person at a time, planning, control, support, thriving and social inclusion.

The authors suggest that the framework they developed has relevance to all forms of supported accommodation and are hoping to further develop the framework to enable its use in evaluation of all residential support arrangements.

A quality framework for personalised residential supports for adults with developmental disabilities, Cocks, E & Boaden, R in Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55: 720–731

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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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