Change that leads to better lives

Green Light Work: Reflections on examples from five NHS Trusts

Following initial publication of The Green Light Toolkit in 2013, this report explores the learning from five NHS Trusts organisations who use Green Light Work to improve the way that mental health services respond to people who also have learning disabilities or are autistic.

Each section explores a series of actions taken in the five NHS Trusts that demonstrate different ways of working towards reasonably adjusting mental health services.

The report has recognised some of the challenges faced by mental health services in providing a warm welcome and effective intervention to people who also have autism or learning disabilities, and then described a wide array of positive steps that have been taken to address this issue.

In bringing together the report, three things stand out:

  • The importance of honesty about what is working and what is not. Staff are rightly pleased when someone receives appropriate support and care, but are determined to confront the reality of what is really happening to others. They might sum this up in the declaration, ‘The truth is always our friend’.
  • The commitment of individuals to identify the challenges and work out solutions. ‘We can and will make our service better for autistic people and for people with learning disabilities.’
  • Support from senior levels of the organisation gives staff permission to acknowledge challenges and spend time on discovering solutions, developing new approaches and learning from one another. ‘The boss is proud of what we have done here.’

Whilst there is much more work to be done to ensure that people with learning disabilities or autistic people can receive high quality care in mental health services, some pioneering staff have made a determined and encouraging start, showing others what is possible if the resources and leadership is provided over the long term.

Download the report here

Green Light Work

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