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Danshell Learning Disability and Autism Services 

Danshell supports and cares for adults living with a learning disability or autism in specialist hospitals and residential services. Our aim is to deliver effective and outcome based services within person centred, professional care environments. We support individuals with a learning disability, who are on the autistic spectrum or have mental or physical ill health. We set high standards for ourselves in the delivery of care, and most importantly, we put service users at the centre of everything we do.

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We believe that we must be fully accountable to those we support, their families and those who commission services on their behalf. In order to do this, we have described what we do in a straightforward and transparent manner, based on five key principles:

  • Positive Behaviour Support
  • Appreciative Inquiry Methodology
  • Therapeutic Outcomes
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Safe Services

Many of the people we support have complex needs and behaviours. We believe that we have to make a long term commitment to providing the right support for each individual to improve their quality of life.

This does not mean that people need to remain in the same place, but rather we continue to support them in a person centred way along their care pathway and ensure that what we learn about the person and the best way to work with them, is respected, applied and built on. Importantly, our way of working supports people to be included in their own communities and promotes choice and control, the development of skills and alternative strategies for coping with challenging situations.

We are clear that our values and beliefs are the foundation on which our work is based. To maintain strong foundations, we have taken an appreciative approach to care delivery and organisational development. How we do this for individual service users is through a range of measures, including;

     •  Involving service users in the design, development and evaluation of our services
     •  Using person-centred approaches in our assessment and care planning
     •  Capturing what we like and admire about each service user, their strengths and talents, and how we can best support them
     •  Listening to each person and their family’s hopes and dreams for the future.

A core belief of our organisation is that we are accountable for everything we do with service users, their families and those who commission on their behalf. To do this we must demonstrate good outcomes and measure them in ways that are valid and inclusive.

The tools we use place the person and their family central to the process, and enable us to support and measure change with each individual.

We know there is a solid body of evidence about the positive effects that diet and exercise can have on mental and physical wellbeing, and that people with learning disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorder are more likely to experience ill-health and premature death.

We want to ensure that the people we support have the best chance of living a healthy life and that we do all we can to enable this. We support service users’ wellbeing in a number of ways, including, healthy lifestyles groups, health improvement interventions, individualised activity plans, and implementation of the Health Equality Framework (HEF).

The people we support need to experience care that is safe, sound and supportive. We take this need very seriously and have developed a system that provides us tools to ensure we can monitor, improve and check our services robustly. We are clear about ‘what good care and support looks like’ and strive to deliver to expectations. You can read more about this in our Quality Strategy - click on the image on the left of the page to download.

Everyone we support has access to an independent advocate. They can ask to see them at any time and this will be arranged. All staff have access to an independent whistle blowing service for them to use if they are worried about patient safety, care and/or their wellbeing.