ARC member NCHA Care and Support pioneer Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

The Government and leading organisations across the health and care system are committed to Transforming Care for people with learning disabilities and /or autism who display behaviours that challenge – particularly for those living in hospital for long periods of time, isolated from their friends and families.

NCHA has supported over 30 such individuals to leave hospital, and each person now has a new home with a community support package.

Delivering services for complex people is not easy, and staff who work in these services regularly face stressful and risky situations. To support their dedicated staff NCHA were keen to get involved in pioneering a new way of working.

Recent research recommends adopting an approach informed by Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), which is an innovative treatment model for Borderline Personality Disorder based around the principals of team-based cognitive behavioural therapy.

DBT has been found to be effective in treating people who display behaviours that challenge and for whom reducing recurrent self-harm is a priority.

Nottinghamshire County Council asked NCHA to facilitate some DBT training with funding from NHS England to help accelerate one person’s discharge from hospital who needed a support team with a good understanding of DBT. NCHA’s in-house training department researched and developed a two-day course that was delivered by local training provider K2 Red. Working to a tight timescale, five courses across the County for 24 Support Workers have now been hosted with great success. Further courses are planned for the coming months.

Carmel Hopkinson, NCHA Customer Relations Manager has seen the impact for her service users: “The training has helped us reflect on all our practices and interactions, and is a powerful tool to help us support people with very complex needs.”