UNSW produce Intellectual Disability Mental Health Core Competency Framework: A Manual for Mental Health Professionals

UNSW in Sydney, Australia have produced the competency framework and toolkit.

The Intellectual Disability Mental Health Core Competency Framework: A Manual for Mental Health Professionals describes the specific skills and attributes required by mental health professionals for the provision of quality services to people with an intellectual disability. It outlines the necessary approaches to clinical practice when working with people with an intellectual disability and identifies the core competencies that mental health professionals require to work in this area. The Framework also includes a self-assessment tool to help professionals determine their current skill set and guides readers to resources that support professional development in intellectual disability mental health.

The Framework was developed in consultation with key stakeholders, and was funded by Mental Health-Children and Young People, NSW Ministry of Health.

More information and the toolkit is available here:


Core skills education and training framework for person-centred approaches

Health Education England commissioned Skills for Health in collaboration with Skills for Care to develop this core skills education and training framework for person-centred approaches.

The value of a person-centred approach in health and care is increasingly recognised – much has been written about what it is and why it is important. However, it is less clear how to develop the workforce to put this into practice – which is the purpose of this framework.

The framework launched in July 2017 and comprises the following subject areas:

  • Values
  • Core communication and relationship building skills
  • Step 1. Conversations to engage with people
  • Step 2. Conversations to enable and support people
  • Step 3. Conversations with people to collaboratively manage highest complexity and significant risk
  • Delivery of training, education and learning opportunities
  • ‘Enablers’ for embedding a person-centred approach.

Download the framework here

Radio 4 Womens Hour: Angela Hassiotis talks about new project on young children with LD and challenging behaviours


New research project launched to improve challenging behaviour in children

BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour (from 35 mins 50 secs)

Professor Angela Hassiotis (UCL Psychiatry) speaks about a new national clinical trial she is leading that seeks to reduce challenging behaviour in three to five-year-old children with learning disabilities.

You can listen to the interview with Angela Hassiotis here:


The mATCH Study: People with autism detained within hospitals – defining the population, understanding aetiology and improving care pathways

Peter Langdon and colleagues have published a paper on people with autism detained in hospitals.

Background to the study:

Some people with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) are detained within hospitals because of the risk of violence, but we know little about the relationship between autism and this risk, nor do we fully understand the differences within this group and the implications for clinical care. There is little information about the most appropriate care-pathway for this population. There is a lack of evidence linking risk of future violence and ASD, and there is evidence that diagnosis alone is not an appropriate predictor of outcome from secure hospitals. It is more likely that comorbid factors, related to neurocognitive functioning and personality explain the relationship between violence and autism. Considering that secure beds are expensive, it is important to clarify the relationships between these variables to help manage risk carefully, target resources correctly, and ensure care pathways are appropriate. We have developed a sub-typology of people with ASD who have been detained in hospital. While these subtypes have face validity, they have not been examined thoroughly for people with ASD detained in hospital either in respect to treatment needs or outcome within the hospital care pathway.

More information here:




Vulnerable people could lose vital care, warn charities

Thousands of people with learning disabilities could lose vital care after Government ruled that sleep-in carers be paid the national minimum wage, causing dozens of leading charities, including Mencap, to face insolvency after HMRC demands a bill of around £400m in back payments.

Following two tribunal cases, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) altered guidance in October to state that organisations must now pay the national minimum wage for all hours, meaning that charities who provide overnight care will have to increase pay from the flat rate of £25-£35 for a sleep-in shift to £60.

Around 200 disability charities, including Mencap, will be affected and are said to face a bill of around £400m for six years of back payments after the new guidance was issued. Charities have warned that they cannot afford the huge sums demanded by HMRC and that people who need overnight care may lose this “vital” service as a result of the bills. Mencap alone support around 5,500 people and are to be “majorly impacted”, whilst for smaller care providers the financial impact might mean that some may lose this support all together.

“We all recognise that our social care colleagues do some outstanding work and are some of the lowest paid, but we cannot pay them if we do not have the money and we only receive money from government sources,” said Jan Tregelles, chief executive of Mencap. “178,000 of the most vulnerable people in our society need this help and may lose it,” she said.

It is thought that the bill will have a devastating impact on the quality of life for those with serious learning disabilities who may not have access to an overnight carer as a result of the new ruling. Tregelles said, “having someone stay overnight ‘at home’ makes the vital difference between ‘living a life’ and spending the rest of their life in a hospital setting.” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/charities-insolvency-threat-warning-night-carers-back-pay-mencap-hmrc-a7848911.html

Mencap launches petition to protect sleep-in support

“178,000 PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY need help and may lose it. Government changes to the interpretation of the law on pay has created a £400 million liability for care providers that they cannot pay. The Government created the problem so only they can fix it.”

Sign the Mencap petition here https://www.mencap.org.uk/