OUT NOW A report on developing staff skills to work effectively with families to support the delivery of the transforming care agenda in Sussex

This project set out to support health and social care staff in Sussex to improve their ability to work in partnership with families of adults with learning disabilities.

“We thought this was important in its own right but also because it supports the delivery of the transforming care agenda.”

Our project had three strands, firstly we arranged for a day-long training programme (‘Creating Collaborative Partnerships with family carers’) to be delivered three times in three locations across the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust geographical region.

The training programme was delivered by a family carer and a clinical psychologist/ systemic therapist both of whom worked for the Islington Family Carers association. Local health and social care staff were invited. Family carers were also invited to the final session.

“Over 50 staff attended the sessions, feedback was really positive.”

Staff reported various ways in which they thought their future practice would be improved due to attending the session. Following the formal training, multiple projects took place within the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust adult Learning Disability Team services aiming to support staff to embed the ideas in practice. This included systemic practice groups, formulation sessions and clinical review sessions. These were opportunities for staff to continue reflecting on the ideas in the training sessions and consider how we can avoid creating barriers to genuine partnership working.

The final arm of the project was creating an induction pack which provides an opportunity for new clinical staff in the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust learning disability directorate to consider how to work in ways which provide the partnership working model for which the Trust strives. The ‘learn with us‘ and ‘mind the gap’ training resource films (created by Islington Family Carers, in an unusual and very successful partnership with Housing and Social Services and Centre 404) which formed the backdrop of the formal training sessions have been secured as a resource to support this induction pack.

The project has been hard, but extremely worthwhile work and we have seen it as one way in which we work to create cultures of respect and support our Trust’s values.

You can download a copy of our full report or easy-read summary by clicking here and if you would like to ask a further questions or simply find out more please contact

Dr Esther Wilcox
Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Approved Clinician


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