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 Sponsors and Supporters

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair’s Opening Address

Ben Higgins, Chief Executive, The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) (invited)


Keynote Address

  • Debbie Ivanova, Director for People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People, Care Quality Commission (CQC) (confirmed)
"Out of Sight Progress Report-Reducing the Number of People in Inpatient and Inappropriate Services"

There have been efforts to reduce levels of inpatient care for people with a learning disability and/or autism, citing that hospitals are not where people should live. However, the latest information has revealed that while the number of people with learning disabilities in hospital has nearly halved since March 2015, there are still too many living in clinical settings when they could be in the community

  • Ali Fiddy, Chief Executive Officer, IPSEA - Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (confirmed)
"Reflection on the SEND Review: Right support, right place, right time"

The Government’s SEND and alternative provision green paper sets out its vision for a single, national SEND and alternative provision (AP) system that will introduce new standards in the quality of support given to children across education, health and care. The proposals are backed by new funding to implement them, worth £70 million


Sharing Best Practice

  • Rebekah Bailie, Integrated LD Health Commissioner LeDeR Local Area Coordinator , Essex County Council (confirmed)
  • Gemma Robertson, Specialist, Essex Partnership University Trust (confirmed)
  • Sue Vallance, Independent Consultant, Adults with Disabilities, Essex County Council (confirmed)
"Ageing and Physical Health Deterioration in People with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism. "

In Essex there has been interesting work undertaken on ageing and physical health deterioration in people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism. 

The specialist health provider worked with the Local Authority to develop
• Shared training for social care providers
• A toolkit for social workers, providers and families
• A specialised frailty assessment for people with LD 
• A physical health CTR approach to ensure a single plan across organisations



Headline Supporter


Question and Answer Session

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


Coffee in the Networking Area


Case Study

Speaker TBC, Dimensions (confirmed)

  • 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.

  • 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


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. Laura Coulthard, Designated Clinical Officer - Named SEND Contact for Health , NHS County Durham CCG (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.


Sharing Best Practice

  • Alison Wellon, Coordinator, Friends 2 Friends (confirmed)
  • James Channon, Volunteer, St Giles Hospice (confirmed)
  • Simon Cox, Volunteer, St Giles Hospice (confirmed)
  • Ian Leech, Community Development Manager, St Giles Hospice (confirmed)
"Living, Dying and Remembering: Supporting people with Learning Disabilities"

St Giles Hospice in partnership with Friends 2 Friends and other Learning Disability organisations created a project to help people understand issues around end of life care for those people living with learning disabilities


Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break

"Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence"

The Role of the Manchester Sexual Assault Referral Centre and how it supports people with learning disabilities and autism through the criminal justice process of rape and sexual assault. 


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 and Event Close

  • Register for event

Having difficulty paying through Eventbrite? If you would like assistance registering your place please contact me on 0161 376 9007 and i'll be happy to assist. If you are awaiting funding you can request us to hold your place today to ensure you do not miss out.

Discounts for 3 or more delegates are available.

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Luke Boulter
! ***NHS CUSTOMERS*** Please note that we are finding the ticket information is not being displayed across some organisations. If this is the case please get in touch on 0161 376 9007 and we can provide you the details, alternatively if you are using internet explorer to access this information please try an alternative browser e.g. Google Chrome where you might have more success.
  • Hear from those living with a learning disability and/or autism as to how they wish to be treated and how they can influence the design and delivery of the support services they need to access
  • Gain an update on the delivery of health checks and how these are improving outcomes
  • Understand more about the the Government’s SEND review and alternative provision green paper 
  • Receive a progress report on the efforts to move people out of long term institutions into the community and closer to home
  • Learn more about Disability Awareness Training programmes which aim to improve patient safety
  • Gain insight into the lives of those living with ADHD
  • Become more adept at communication when dealing with people with learning disabilities and/or autism
  • Hear how end of life matters can be addressed
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate with speakers and fellow professionals
  • Take advantage of knowledge sharing and professional networking
  • Gain the maximum number of 8 CPD points.
  • Contact Details
  • News
  • Sponsors
  • Supporters
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads
  • 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

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    • 08:30 - 14:00
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  • Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties

    • 12 October 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
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  • Improving Lives: Supporting Adults with Learning Disabilities

    • 31 January 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:15
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  • Learning Disabilities: Fulfilling Potential and Supporting Better Lives

    • 13 March 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:00
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  • 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.

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