New and improved children’s learning disability service launches

A new and improved Children’s Learning Disability and Behaviour Support Service was launched this week following conversations with families and health professionals.

The newly designed service now offers two different pathways dependant on the need of the child to ensure the most appropriate support is given at the right time. Formerly the service focussed primarily on children with learning disabilities but now a second pathway has been introduced that has a key focus on providing the early intervention support both children and families need, where the child has  global delay development difficulties such as learning to walk or talk and movement skills, or autism or a learning disability. The service will work with families to help them to better understand and manage their child’s condition.

Jo Wilcox, Clinical Lead Children's Learning Disability Nursing at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are really exciting to launch our newly improved service and offer that extra early support children and families in Cumbria need.

 “We have spoken with families to find out what they would like to see and have included their ideas in developing the service. We will be focussing on early intervention behaviour support to make sure we can help families in the best way possible, including running parenting programmes and workshops alongside partner agencies to help parents understand and positively manage their child’s behaviour.

“We will also be focussing on our Learning Disability Individual Support Pathway, where we can provide specialist assessments and interventions for children and young people, in relation to their learning disability. Here we can help with behaviour management, sleep management and skill development.”

Zoe Beck, a parent of three children with autism from Kendal who has been involved in the new service design said:

“It’s great to see that the service is changing and moving forward in a positive direction. It’s been really important for me to get involved in the new pathway, especially as a parent who has three children with autism, that’s been accessing support for over twenty years now.

“The parent programmes have been really helpful for me to learn and understand about my children’s conditions and I am pleased to see my feedback has been taken on board in providing these sessions. I’m also working with the service to ensure parents like myself have extra parental resilience support at the diagnosis point as without accepting the diagnosis or understanding it, this can have further implications on the child.  

“Jo has been a constant and consistent support throughout my experience and I am eternally grateful for her support. I look forward to seeing the service continue to improve”

Viv Cooper, Founder of Challenging Behaviour Foundation who came along to the event said:

“It’s great to have been invited along to the launch event for the Children’s Learning Disability and Behaviour Support service; it’s really exciting to see a new service that will help change people’s lives.

“20 years ago I founded the Challenging Behaviour Foundation after hitting crisis point with my own son who has severe learning disabilities. We weren’t receiving the right support at the right time or at the right place which was extremely difficult. The Challenging Behaviour Foundation focusses on helping other families get the right advice and support they need which is where I think the new Children’s Learning Disability and Behaviour Support service will really be a great success in providing the early help families need.”

Jean Hamilton, Children’s Specialist Team Manager at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“This has to be one of the most exciting things I have witnessed in my nursing career. Watching ideas grow and develop with such enthusiasm and passion has been amazing in helping to improve our services for children in Cumbria.”

The service works together with parents and children who have autism, global developmental delay, a learning disability and those that have challenging behaviour. The service is made up of a team of experienced learning disability nurses, trained specifically to support children and young people who have health needs arising from their learning disability or autism.

Further launch events are taking place across the county this week. 

More information on the service is available here.