Supporting individuals with learning disabilities to access the care for their needs comes with a number of challenges. But could we finally put the people using services at the heart of planning and delivery with the use of technology? In this free online event, we shared concrete examples of innovative digital solutions and considered how technology can help with personalising care for people with learning disabilities.

At this event, we heard from clinicians, carers, service users and support workers about their journey to make technology a tool that works for every single user.

Our panel discussed: 

  • practical ways of adjusting a digital tool to the individual using it, to make them feel more comfortable in their path to more independence
  • the importance of creative and empathetic attitudes in problem-solving in order to build tailored solutions
  • evidence for the benefits of using digital tools for people with learning disabilities and some cautionary tales, too
  • ways to involve the person, their family and carers at an early stage and throughout the decision-making process
  • the role of technology in promoting better health outcomes for people from disadvantaged groups and enhancing social inclusion.

Presenters

Jake Beech

Jake Beech

Researcher, The King’s Fund

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Jake is a researcher in the policy team. He has particular areas of interest in primary care and social care.

Before joining The King’s Fund, Jake worked at Age UK in their national policy and research team supporting their quantitative analysis of health and social care data and their influencing work for the improvement of later life in England.

He has a BA in natural sciences and an MSci in systems biology from the University of Cambridge.
Lyndsey Courtney

Lyndsey Courtney

Strategic Lead for Service Design and Practice, Home Group

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Lindsay Courtney is Strategic Lead for Service Design and Practice at Home Group Ltd. As part of Home Group’s New Models of Care Clinical Team she is responsible for delivering the strategic vision to deliver high quality services in line with best practice and robust outcome frameworks.

She has over thirty years’ experience working in the NHS in the North East as a registered Occupational Therapist. She has worked in a wide range of clinical areas including acute and community settings with a special interest in older people with complex needs. She has also had a role in developing the future workforce both as a lecture practitioner at Northumbria University but as the AHP Training and Education Lead for Health Education England in the North East.

Lindsay is also very interested in the role that assistive technology has in place making and in supporting Independence and self-management of conditions. She is working with Northumbria University to look at future technology, both from a national and international perspective and supporting the development of digital homes as part of Home Group’s strategy.
Glenda Cook

Glenda Cook

Professor of Gerontological Nursing, Northumbria University

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Glenda Cook is professor of gerontological nursing at Northumbria University since 2011. She has a track record in innovative service development for ageing populations. A core theme of her work is to enhance quality of life and quality of care for older people. Her previous work has included academic lead for a KTP with North Tyneside Homes that transformed sheltered housing services from reactive to proactive and enabling. This project received an ‘outstanding’ grading from Innovate UK (April 2015). She is also led on a KTP with Corbridge Medical Group that seeks to develop a new General Practice service delivery model informed by data warehousing and mining of practice data to predict population need and redesign processes and workforce. Her current research includes development of a multicomponent hydration intervention for people with dementia living in care homes; promoting independence through technology-enabled modular homes; and development of alternative housing options that promote wellbeing and health of older people.
Sean Duggan

Sean Duggan

Chief Executive, Mental Health Network, NHS Confederation

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Professor Sean Duggan is Chief Executive of the Mental Health Network of the NHS Confederation, the voice for NHS-funded mental health and learning disability service providers in England. Before this, Sean spent ten years at Centre for Mental Health, the last five as Chief Executive.

Sean worked for the Department of Health leading on mental health in the criminal justice system where he established mental health provision for all prisons in England. He trained as a Registered Mental Health Nurse in Sussex, where he also became Director of Nursing for an NHS Trust.

Sean was Vice Chair of the National Advisory Group to the Health and Criminal Justice Programme Board, which was set up following the Bradley report in 2009 until its conclusion in 2011. Sean is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Mental Health and in 2013 was awarded the President’s Medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Sean Duggan

Service users will contribute at this event

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