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Learning Disabilities and/or Autism: Enabling Change- Delivering Improvement

  • Thursday, 01 December 2022
  • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • 08:30 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

To continue to shape the narrative surrounding support services for people with autism, autistic people with a learning disability and people with a learning disability,  Open Forum Events invite you to attend the Learning Disabilities and/or Autism: Enabling Change-Delivering Improvement conference.
Previous events have enjoyed a coming together of like-minded individuals, dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with learning disabilities and /or autism, to discuss and debate the challenges and seek to devise enhanced support services. The Spring conference received excellent feedback with attendees commenting:

“I thought this event was brilliant – so much passion and knowledge from professionals, as well as those individuals who presented with a LD/ Autism. I’ve got a huge amount to look into”
“Brilliant day, I was engaged throughout, have learnt so much, thank you”
“Absolutely fantastic day, wonderful to see people with LD+A being included & represented too, Thank You”
“Great Day, would attend in the future”
“Everything, content and presentations amazing”

Following consultation with key stakeholders, the agenda for this bi-annual conference has once again been designed to provide a platform for delegates to be informed of the latest developments, gain a greater understanding of the current initiatives and be inspired by the conference content.
Attendees will hear from a line-up of expert speakers, with contributions from people with lived experience providing a reality check, along with other presenters who will look to disseminate information, discuss challenging topics, debate contentious issues, and analyse the way forward. Interaction between delegates, speakers and conference investors is actively encouraged with allocated time for question and answer sessions, casual knowledge sharing and peer to peer networking.
Book your place today at the Learning Disabilities and/or Autism: Enabling Change-Delivering Improvement conference to ensure you are part of the ‘call to action’ for real change.


  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair’s Opening Address

  • Ali Fiddy, Chief Executive Officer, IPSEA - Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (confirmed)
"Reflections on the SEND Review"

The Government’s SEND and alternative provision green paper was published at the end of March 2022. It sets out extensive proposals for reform of the current legal framework for supporting children and young people with SEND. During the presentation Ali will explore the impact of the proposals on existing rights and entitlements.


Sharing Best Practice

  • Rebekah Bailie, Associate Director SET Learning Disability Health Equalities Programme, LD HE Team – hosted by Essex County Council (confirmed)
  • Gemma Robertson, Head of Allied Health Professionals – Adult Learning Disability Team , Essex Partnership University Trust (confirmed)
  • Sue Vallance, Independent Consultant/Social Worker , Vallance Assessment Services Ltd (confirmed)
  • Jenny Peckham, Provider Quality Innovation Manager, Essex County Council (confirmed)
"Learning Disability Ageing and Physical Health"

LeDeR programme in Southend Essex and Thurrock (SET) showed us that the high incidence of pneumonia was linked to a pattern of early frailty which was not being identified and that local people with LD were not accessing mainstream frailty services. During the COVID pandemic we also recognised that standard frailty tools were over-identifying people with LD as frail and this was influencing DNAR and clinical decision making.
ELDP (provider of specialist LD health services) were commissioned to identify risk of early frailty and the need for health coordination as part of a Dynamic Support Register for physical health and developed an adapted frailty assessment. Essex County Council’s Aging Well project reviewed the needs of its over 55 yrs LD residents and with input from ELDP developed a toolkit to support social workers, social care providers, families and adults with LD to identify changing physical health and to get the right support at the right time.
Mainstream health services are now more aware of these resources and the need to make frailty services available.



Case Study

"Effectively Discharging from ATUs "

Question and Answer Session

Allocated planned time for speakers to receive questions from the audience and induce further discussion.


Coffee in the Networking Area


Keynote Address

  • Debbie Ivanova, Director for People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People, Care Quality Commission (CQC) (confirmed)
"Changing Cultures of Care"

The presentation will update listeners on what has changed in CQCs approach to the regulation of services for people with a learning disability. It will outline the challenges and successes of a new approach to getting under the culture of care.

  • Laura West, Global Professional Instructor, The Crisis Prevention Institute (confirmed)
"Noticing and Supporting Girls with ADHD"

In the 90s, scientists believed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder was nine times as common in boys than in girls. The science has moved on and the diagnosis rate has now slimmed down to 2.5 boys to every one girl. The diagnostic rates may have improved, but has this translated to females with ADHD being noticed and offered the early intervention and support they need to be and feel successful?
The continuation to completely miss the signs of ADHD in females or misdiagnose and therefore mistreat the person in front of them, has a significant negative impact on their mental health, their self-esteem, their chance of engaging in risky behaviours and their academic outcomes.

A CPI speaker with ADHD will discuss her lived experience, what to look for in your setting and how you can help.

  • Patricia Charlesworth, Person with a Learning Disability, Member of SFC and HEE Experts by Experience Advisory Group, and Co-Chair , Foundation for People with Learning Disabilties (confirmed)
  • Marie Lovell, Project Manager, Skills for Care (confirmed)
"Co-production in Workforce Development"

This presentation will explain the Workforce Expert Advisory Group.
This group helps Skills for Care and Health Education England with workforce development. This is everything to do with getting the right people in jobs and helping them to do them well.
The group can have a say in lots of projects, about the way people are recruited into their jobs, how they are trained and supported to do their jobs well, and also what happens if people aren’t working well.


Case Study

  • Nicola Payne, Health and Families Manager , MacIntyre (confirmed)
  • Rachel Furniss, Dying to Talk Project Lead, McIntyre (confirmed)
"Dying to Talk"

MacIntyre’s Nicola and Rachel will be sharing their journey so far from the dying to talk project and talking about the importance of having conversations and opportunities to feel confident when planning for their future and talking about death


Question & Answer Session


Lunch in the Networking Area

A hot, two-course lunch consisting of multiple options will be provided for delegates. We cater for all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy-free; just notify us ahead of time should you have any allergens or requirement


Chair’s Afternoon Address


Case Study

  • Dr Nicola Eccles, Head of Mental Health and Wellbeing , Aspire Strategies (confirmed)
"Placing Psychological Wellbeing at the Centre – We Are All Ambassadors"

This presentation considers the part we all play in supporting a positive mental health narrative. The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of individuals presenting with anxiety, depression and associated mental health conditions. The intersection between mental health, autism and learning disabilities is recognised but this presentation offers some real-life application and solutions. It focuses on how we can create accountability and responsibility for our own mental health toolbox and how we can act as mentors and ambassadors for others. The use of self compassion and self esteem is critical to this.

  • Dr. Laura Coulthard, Designated Clinical Officer - Named SEND Contact for Health , NHS County Durham CCG (confirmed)
  • Freya McGlone, Student , Extreme (Investing in Children) (confirmed)
  • Emma Rogan, Development Manager, Investing in Children (confirmed)
"The Language of Autism Project"

In 2021 the Extreme group and the CCG co-produced a survey that explored peoples preferred terms to describe autism. We also asked respondents to rate how much they liked and did not like commonly used terms. We would like to present the findings of this survey and what we did next.


Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break


Sharing Best Practice

  • Alison Wellon, Coordinator, Friends 2 Friends (F2F) (confirmed)
  • James Channon, Member of Friends 2 Friends, Friends 2 Friends (F2F) (confirmed)
  • Simon Cox, Member of Friends 2 Friends (F2F) Organisation, Friends 2 Friends (confirmed)
  • Ian Leech, Community Development Manager, St Giles Hospice (confirmed)
"Living, Dying, Remembering – Supporting People with Learning Disabilities"

St Giles in partnership with F2F and other learning disability organisations created a project to help people understand issues around end of life care for those living with learning disabilities.


Closing Afternoon Keynote Address

  • Tim Nicholls, Head of Influencing and Research, National Autistic Society (NAS) (confirmed)
"Ending the Autism Diagnosis Waits Crisis"

Waiting times for a diagnosis are too long and have been for years. Recent data shows the tens of thousands who are waiting for a diagnosis. This presentation will set out what must change to end the diagnosis waits crisis once and for all, to help create a society that works for autistic people.


Question & Answer Session


Chair's Closing Remarks


Event Close

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  • Contact Details
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  • Who will attend

Contact Details


  • Going Places: supporting people with learning disabilities and autism into work and in the workforce

    • Posted on 25 February 2019
    • by Diane Lightfoot




The Royal National Hotel, London

The Royal National Hotel, London

Offering breathtaking views across Russell Square the hotel is within easy walking distance to the British Museum. Well located with Russell Square underground station a 2 minute walk away.

Featured Events

  • Living Well with Autism: Beyond the Limitations

    • 28 May 2015
    • 08:00 - 13:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Autism: The Challenges and Opportunities

    • 01 June 2016
    • 08:30 - 14:00
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties

    • 12 October 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Improving Lives: Supporting Adults with Learning Disabilities

    • 31 January 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:15
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities: Fulfilling Potential and Supporting Better Lives

    • 13 March 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:00
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes

    • 12 March 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • The 7th Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes Conference

    • 24 September 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • ETC.Venues Prospero House, London
  • Learning Disabilities & Autism 2020 Manchester

    • 12 March 2020
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • King’s House Conference Centre, Manchester
  • Learning Disabilities and Autism: Equality and Empowerment

    • 09 November 2021
    • 08:30 - 17:00
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities and/or Autism: Choice, Inclusion, Control and Independence

    • 21 April 2022
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Downloads & Resources

  • Open Forum Events Sponsorship Brochure
    Open Forum Events offer a number of partnership, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that can meet your marketing and business development needs.
  • Final Presentations LD & A
    Final Presentations LD & A

who will attend

  • Carer
  • Charity Lead
  • Clinical Commissioning Group/ICS/ICN member
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Councillor
  • Director of Adult Mental Health Services
  • Director of Adult Social Services
  • Director of Adult/Children Safeguarding
  • Director of Community / Domiciliary Care
  • Director of Disability Services
  • Director of Older People's Services
  • Director of Public Health
  • Director of Supported / Sheltered Housing
  • Director/Head CAHMS Services
  • Director/Manager of Care Homes
  • Directors of Children Services
  • Doctor
  • DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) Co-Ordinato
  • Head of Commissioning
  • Head of Housing
  • Head of Supported Living
  • Heads of Learning Disability Services
  • Headteacher
  • Health and Wellbeing Boards member
  • Health Visitor
  • Learning Disability / Disability Liaison Nurse
  • Learning Disability Service Managers
  • Learning Disability/Autism Lead
  • Local Authority Chief Executive
  • Neighbourhood and Community Policing Team member
  • Nurse
  • Outreach worker
  • Personalisation and Self-Directed Support Team member
  • Probation Officer
  • Safeguarding Adults Board member
  • SEND Educational Leads
  • Senior Police Personnel
  • Support Worker