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Small Supports

We believe that there is a need to encourage and grow community based, high quality, person centred, and value-for-money small providers to add to the choices available. 

Small Supports

A partnership between NDTi, Beyond Limits, C-Change and Positive Support for You.


Update: We are growing Small Supports; to read more details about the plans for the 20/21 programme click here or to read a short summary click here.


About this Work

Read our NEW resource: A Paper to Challenge and Inform Transforming Care Partnerships

Our Small Supports work is creating change with and about people with learning disabilities and/or autism who have ‘hefty reputations’ - to borrow a phrase to describe people who are burdened by the reputations they have been given because of behaviours, reactions, support requirements, and large funding packages.

Transforming Care, like the Winterbourne View Programme before it, set out to try and change the services that are available. In our view this hasn’t worked. Market development activity has focused on the large existing providers who, while they offer great support to some people, don’t meet everyone’s requirements. We rather like the analogy of looking at a local high street and thinking that choice is being developed by adding in yet another supermarket when people are asking for small shops, a market, etc.

In some areas we have seen the growth of very person centred individual supports (or micro providers).  This is very welcome but some people and their families are saying that these don’t provide enough structure and security. Commissioners have told us of their experiences of having limited choices, commissioning services that they believe will lead to readmission and of hospital admissions and delays to discharge that would not have been necessary if quality community provision had been available.

Small support organisations have a number of things in common including: planning and delivering in a truly person centred way; person led staff recruitment and training; structuring and using funding around the person; a separation of housing and support; strong partnerships between the individual and family, commissioners, and providers; and staying small.

Our Small Supports activity:

  • Works with people, families, strategists, and commissioners to develop understanding and plan to undertake action;
  • Shares detailed experiences and information about developing small support organisations;
  • Identifies and challenges blockages in commissioning processes;
  • Helps sow and grow small support organisations;
  • Evaluates outcomes, including outcomes for people and the delivery of value for money.

Small Supports is partnership between NDTi, Beyond Limits, C-Change and Positive Support for You.  We are committed to sharing our learning. Some of this learning is available now, some will continue to emerge. 

For more information about this work, please email:


20/21 Programme

Supported by and working alongside the Local Government Association (LGA) and NHS England, the partnership will:

  • Establish a network for small support style providers to offer mutual support and information. This is planned for early July and we will be sharing information in late June.
  • Continue to work alongside existing areas trying to establish small support organisations.
  • Identify and work with eight new areas who would like to explore and establish small support organisations. In July we will be running a series of online webinars/discussion for any area who would like to know more about the programme and might want to participate. These webinars will be open to anyone interested. We will share more detail of the events here in early June.
  • Continue to share our learning.

In partnership with Birmingham and Solihull CCG we are undertaking a focused piece of work to encourage and develop small supports in the Birmingham and Solihull areas. If you would like to know more, please click here.

If you would like to receive details of the 2020/21 programme and events, please email:

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