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A little bit about us

About the PBS Community of Practice

The PBS Community of Practice is part of the North East and Cumbria region’s initiatives to transform care for people with learning disabilities and/or autism. This is part of current government policy to develop community services and close inpatient facilities for people with a learning disability and/or autism who display behaviour that challenges, including those with a mental health condition


Background to the development of the Community of Practice

Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) and/or its elements are recognised as best practice in supporting people with learning disabilities and behaviours that challenge (e.g. NICE Guidelines for challenging behaviour and learning disabilities, 2015; Positive and Proactive Care, 2014). However, there is an acknowledgement that we need to support families, staff and commissioners to develop skills and knowledge in this approach.

In 2015, the PBS Academy (formerly PBS Coalition) published The PBS Competence Framework which provides detailed information about what people need to know and do to provide PBS for those with behaviours that challenge. Currently, there is little guidance about how best to support people to learn this knowledge and skills and no agreed standards about the training requirements or qualifications/experience individuals or services need to have. Consequently, the quality of PBS provision is often poor. In the North East and Cumbria, building the capacity of the workforce to support people effectively in the community is a priority for transforming care . Positive Behavioural Support is a key strand of this workforce plan and substantial work has already been undertaken to look at what needs to happen to facilitate this. The Community of Practice has been established as a vehicle to develop the knowledge and skills required to implement PBS effectively, to share best practice and to drive up the quality of PBS across the region.


Who is the PBS Community of Practice?


Melissa Sherring

Melissa Sherring

Workforce Development Manager in PBS

Anyone can be part of the Community of Practice in the North East and Cumbria. All members have an interest in improving the lives of people with a learning disability and/or autism with behaviours which challenge and their families/carers. Members have a variety of backgrounds and experiences including people with learning disabilities, families, health care, social care, education, research and the voluntary sector. People have a range of roles including commissioners, service providers, healthcare professionals, Care Quality Commission (CQC) Inspectors, family carers etc. and this provides a rich source of expertise and opportunities to learn from each other.

Melissa Sherring is currently employed to support the development of the Community of Practice for the Transforming Care Programme in the North East and Cumbria. A key part of her work is the development of programmes of learning with Northumbria University to develop skills and knowledge in PBS. The region understands this requires a workforce development approach where people are supported to learn and use these skills in the workplace.

If you would like to find out more about the work of the PBS Community of Practice and how to get involved, please contact Melissa Sherring, Workforce Development Manager in Positive Behavioural Support, North East and Cumbria Transforming Care Programme.

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