Human rights based approach to supporting citizens with complex needs, learning disability and autism


Human rights based approach to supporting citizens with complex needs, learning disability and autism

Collaboration, Compassion and Ambition 2019 - 4th December 2019
50 minutes; 11:50 and 13:20

Community based support for people with the most complex needs related to learning disability and/or autism who are at risk of hospital admission or placement out of area starts with the fundamental principle that adults with complex needs have the same rights to a high quality of life in their community as all other citizens. This takes place in the context of findings and recommendations in, ‘Coming Home: Complex Needs and Out of Area Placements’ (Scottish Government, 2018) and reports of service failings, exposing physical and psychological abuse of people who had been placed in specialist units out of area.

Research of national and international models of housing and community based support, concluded that the right quality environment, particularly good quality housing, was one of the fundamental building blocks for local services and that, without this, other aspects of care and support were always, to some extent, compensating for the environment not being right. Midlothian HSCP has developed individual local authority tenancies, that were robust and that provided a good and homely place to live in the heart of our community. These are now in place and the quality of life outcomes for individuals has been dramatic.

The workshop will explore the key elements of a human rights based approach to ensure that our most vulnerable citizens are able to live full and safe lives in their local community, avoiding unnecessary hospital admission and out of area placements. Discussion with delegates will include:

  • Housing models
  • Strengthening community services
  • Proactive approaches to commissioning and service planning
  • Workforce development, particularly around positive behavioral support
  • Human rights

Delegates will be asked to share local experience, including the opportunities and barriers with particular reference to thinking differently about how public services can be efficient, effective, and sustainable. The workshop will support a dialogue around learning and solutions in the recognition that most areas have made significant progress in one or more aspects of services for people for the most complex needs, but that no one area has completely developed the full range of flexible, person-centred, and imaginative solutions that individuals and their families are demanding.

This workshop is by Midlothian HSCP.

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