More than 2,000 people with autism or a learning disability are currently living in care settings that do not meet their needs.

This free online event will look at the challenges of moving these individuals into homes in the community and how to overcome them. We will look at the lessons learned from examples where the NHS, local government, the housing sector and care providers have worked together and the challenges they faced.



Jonathan Holmes

Policy adviser, The King’s Fund

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Jonathon joined The King's Fund in August 2019 as policy adviser. He sits within the responsive policy team and his work at the Fund is primarily external facing, looking to understand and identify key areas of policy that the Fund’s insight can help shape and influence.

Jonathon previously worked at Healthwatch England, where he led their work on social care, analysing public attitudes towards and understanding of the social care system in England. He also conducted focused policy work on hospital readmissions, dementia care, patient feedback and unpaid carer’s experiences of support services. Prior to this he held policy roles in the voluntary sector and the care provider sector.

Rachael Byrne

Executive Director of Care and Support, Home Group

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Home Group is a national organisation providing housing and care across the UK. Home Group manages 55,000 homes and provides support and care to 25,000 customers per annum.

Rachael joined Home Group in 2009 as Executive Director of Care and Support. Over the last two years, Rachael has been leading the strategic development of new models of care for customers with learning disabilities, complex mental health issues and older vulnerable people. Transitioning the existing supported housing portfolio in Home Group to reflect the increasing need of customers, and to better meet the pressures faced by the NHS and social care. Bringing in-house clinical expertise and strengthened oversight to facilitate the change and ensure quality of care to Home Group customers.

Prior to being appointed, Rachael was Director of Supported Housing at Riverside Housing Association (1998-2009). Rachael has worked for a range of housing and care providers across the voluntary sector and in local authorities.

Rachael has previously been a board member for the Abbeyfield Society, and is currently vice-chair of the membership body CLINKS representing third sector organisations involved in criminal justice.

Helen Hassell

Expert by Experience and Member, My Life Choices and NHS Assembly

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Helen Hassell is a mum to Karl, a 24-year-old with complex physical and learning disability needs. A passionate advocate for personalised care, Helen is a member of My Life Choices ( Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’s ICS Strategic co production group) and the NHS Assembly, where she draws on her experiences of Karl’s care to inform on transformation of our health and care services. She has experience supporting families with children with SEND as well as serving as a special school governor for 11 years.

Elaine James

Service Manager, Commissioning for Learning Disabilities, Bradford Council

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Elaine James is a learning disabilities and public health commissioner working for Bradford Metropolitan District Council adult social care services. She also holds an honorary researcher post with the Centre for Disability Research at Lancaster University. Elaine has over 20 years experience in social care from roles working across local government and the voluntary sector. She has written pieces for the Guardian and peer journals on learning disabilities and is the co-author of Social Work, Cats and Rocket Science.


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