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People with LDs who present with behaviour that challenges could inform service improvement

Nurses and healthcare staff need to listen to people with learning disabilities who present with behaviour that challenges as it may be a sign their needs are not being met, a conference workshop was told

Nurses and healthcare staff need to listen to people with learning disabilities who present with behaviour that challenges as it may be a sign their needs are not being met, a conference workshop was told

Peter Baker, senior lecturer in intellectual disability at the University of Kent
Peter Baker, senior lecturer in intellectual disability at the University of Kent’s Tizard Centre.
Picture: John Houlihan

Health service staff need to listen to people with learning disabilities who present with behaviour that challenges as they are often highlighting what is wrong with the service, a workshop was told at the fifth annual RCNi Learning Disability Nursing Conference – supported by Learning Disability Practice – in Manchester.

The message came from Peter Baker, a senior lecturer in intellectual disability at the University of Kent’s Tizard Centre, who led the workshop on the technique of positive behaviour support.

He and co-presenter Roy Deveau, Tizard Centre honorary research associate, highlighted the importance of influencing staff culture, as this often overrides an individual’s written plan.


Watch: Peter Baker discusses using positive behaviour support

 


'Ignoring bad behaviour is never a good idea'

‘When you come across behaviour that challenges you need to look at what’s causing it,’ Mr Baker told the workshop.

‘Praising good behaviour is good, but ignoring bad behaviour is never a good idea. It’s often a symptom of something deeper.’

He said restricting someone’s life to ‘manage’ behaviour that challenges only made it worse. ‘And the more restrictive services are the most expensive. How mad is that?’

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