Good Practice Conference 2022

This year we hosted a very successful conference for the NHSE with a variety of presentations surrounding the topic of Positive Behaviour Support (PDFs available at bottom of page).

Brian McClean - Compassion Focussed PBS

Brian McClean qualified as a Clinical Psychologist from the University of Surrey in 1987. His doctoral thesis was on Outcomes of Positive Behavioural Support for 138 people with challenging behaviour. In 1994, he founded the Callan Institute for Behavioural Support and developed it as a national consultation and training agency in Positive Behaviour Support in Ireland. In 2001, he established a Behaviour Support Service in Co Roscommon, which supported community living and real lifestyles for people needing behavioural support. He is currently Principal Clinical Psychologist with Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, where he provides Compassion Focused Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Behaviour Support.

Huw Price - Compassion, Buddism & PBS

Huw is a PBS Practitioner working for PBSUK. Prior to this he worked at an Applied Behaviour Analysis school working with autistic children and after 5 years moved to an Adult Service where he refined and developed his skills with respect to Functional Assessment and Behaviour Support Planning. He moved into a training and consultancy role in 2016 where he also completed an MSc in psychology. He is currently completing an MA in autism studies at the university of Kent. He has a particular interest in positive psychology, which in turn led to an interest in Buddhism and nature-connectedness with relation to improving wellbeing.

Jeredith Lord - Compassionate Care, Can it be Taught?

Jeredith Lord - Compassionate Care, Can it be Taught?

This presentation will focus on the qualities that have been traditionally used to describe, and thus measure, compassionate care. As a behaviour, there is little doubt that compassionate care skills can be cultivated in behaviour analysts and help overcome the "robotic" perception that some hold of our field. However, can compassion itself be taught? Should behaviour analyst curriculums be expected to help instructors develop compassion? Is that something that relies instead on individual learning history? Is there a time when compassionate care can be detrimental? Join in on this thought provoking discussion and be prepared to dive deep into an operational definition and theoretical skill building protocol for compassionate care.

Jeredith is a licensed clinical mental health counsellor by trade, Jeridith is currently pursuing her PhD in ABA at Endicott College and has presented at conferences worldwide. Jeridith has worked extensively with survivors of domestic violence and military sexual assault and is currently researching the application of behavioural skills training to improve compassionate care in first responders.



Kate Boot & Gemma Sharples - Developing the Language of Sex & Relationsips

Kate and Gemma will introduce their work developing a vocabulary intervention measure designed to support their delivery of differentiated and language rich Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), to neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities. Kate and Gemma won the Sex Education Forum’s ‘Educator of the Year for Innovation’ award in 2021 ( for how their use of speech and language therapy enabled their students to access important conversations about RSE and to develop their mental capacity for making decisions related to relationships and sex. Their compassionate and student centred approach contributed to students making significant progress by the end of their therapy programme.

Kate Boot is a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Sensory Integration Practitioner working for Phoenix Learning and Care in the South West of England. She works with people aged 16-25 years old within a specialist college setting and offers consultation and advice to teams working with children who have experienced trauma. She is currently leading the college’s PBS implementation project which has a large focus on PERMA and wellbeing. For Kate, a huge element of this includes the delivery of differentiated Relationships and Sex Education. 

Emotional Well-being in Autistic Individuals

I’m just Lizzy Van Tromp, Autism trainer and blogger. If appropriate, I think it’s helpful for attendees to know I’m a late diagnosed Autistic female and parent to two Autistic boys. My specialism is combining current research and thinking on Autism and Neurodiversity with my own lived experience.

Lizzy is an autistic person and mother of autistic children discussing the need to take proactive steps to maximise emotional well-being.

Compassionate Leadership for Positive, Supportive Cultures - Michael West

They sMichael West CBE is Senior Visiting Fellow at The King’s Fund, London and Professor of Organisational Psychology at Lancaster University, Visiting Professor at University College, Dublin, and Emeritus Professor at Aston University, where he was formerly Executive Dean of Aston Business School.

He graduated from the University of Wales in 1973 and was awarded a PhD in 1977 for research on the psychology of meditation. He has authored, edited and co-edited 20 books and has published more than 200 articles in scientific and practitioner publications on teamwork, innovation, leadership, and culture, particularly in healthcare. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association (APA), the APA Society for Industrial/Organisational Psychology, the Academy of Social Sciences, the International Association of Applied Psychologists and the British Academy of Management. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

He led the English Department of Health Policy Research Programme into cultures of quality and safety. He also led the NHS National Staff Survey development and initial implementation. He assisted in developing the national framework on improvement and leadership development in England (Developing People, Improving Care - 2016) and in Northern Ireland in developing the Collective Leadership Strategy for Health and Social Care (2017). He is supporting Health Education and Improvement Wales to develop the national health and care compassionate leadership strategy in Wales. He co-chaired with Dame Denise Coia, the two-year inquiry on behalf of the UK General Medical Council into the mental health and well-being of doctors Caring for Doctors, Caring for Patients (2019). He led the review for The King’s Fund (commissioned by the RCN Foundation) into the mental health and well-being of nurses and midwives across the UK, The Courage of Compassion: Supporting Nurses and Midwives to Deliver High Quality Care (2020). His latest book (2021) is Compassionate leadership: Sustaining wisdom, humanity and presence in health and social care (London: Swirling Leaf Press).

He was appointed a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020 for services to compassion and innovation in healthcare.

Using the BSP-QEII Tool - Naomi Dooley

Using the Behaviour Support Plan Quality Evaluation Tool (BSP-QEII) to Assess and Improve PBS Services within a Social Care Provider

Naomi is a BCBA working for Seeability as Head of the Clinical Assessment and Intervention Team. Before that she was on secondment with Hampshire CC's Least Restrictive practice team, and before that she worked for Hampshire and Southampton's Intensive Support Team for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. She also has a Westie and two human children. She has about ten years' experience working with adults and children with a learning disability and/or autism. Her special interest areas are reducing challenging behaviour and increasing quality of life via functional skills teaching.


The Straw Project - Staff Resilience & Well-being - Nick Barratt

Nick is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst with 20 years of experience using behavioural science to teach people the skills they need to get the life they want. He specialises in setting-wide and individually-focused Positive Behavioural Support, provides clinical supervision to other practitioners, and uses behavioural principles to enable organisations to achieve their goals.

Nick is a member of the Positive Behavioural Support Academy, and contributed to the development of the Positive Behavioural Support Competence Framework. He serves on the board of the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis, and chairs the Applied Behaviour Analysis Forum, a London-based professionals’ group he co-founded in 2008.

In 2014, Nick co-authored a book with Baroness Sheila Hollins called Feeling Cross and Sorting it Out, which focuses on the interactional nature of challenging behaviour.  

Developing Practice Leadership in Services - Paddy Behan

A discussion describing an ongoing programme of practice leadership research being conducted in conjunction with Plymouth Council and Uni. 

Paddy has spent over 15 years working in environments providing support to individuals (adults and children) whose behaviours might be described as ‘complex’ or ‘challenging’. These environments have included family homes, schools, residential care homes, supported living services and specialist hospitals. Paddy believes that assessment must be as focused on the environment as it is on the individual. Understanding the relationship between an individual and their environment is key in developing successful support strategies.

Paddy holds a BSc in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and an MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis and is interested in applying skills from these courses to; improve carer wellbeing, to improve organisational processes and performance and of course to improve the quality of life for people receiving support. 

A Say in My Own Behaviour - Sam Corbett & Katie Lyons

Sam & Katie discuss a tool for promoting the inclusion of supported people in their own functional behaviour assessments. 

Sam is a BCBA working as the Senior PBS Clinician for PBS4. Sam has many years of experience as a support worker and behaviour analyst working across all age ranges and in various settings. Sam is currently working at PBS4 who have been operating for 7 years and provide support in Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, and North Somerset. Sam has special interest in training and skilling up teams who are providing direct support using evidence based methods. Understanding rapport and how to build rapport is a particular interest as this forms the foundations of support and implementation of any further interventions.

Katie is a BCBA currently working as a Positive Behaviour Support Clinician for PBS4. Katie has 15 years’ experience working in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis across a variety of age ranges and settings. Katie has a special interest in supporting individuals to learn functional life skills and support teams to develop their understanding and implementation of Positive Behaviour Support. Katie is focussed on ensuring support is truly person centred and enjoys adapting tools to ensure the people we support are involved in their own support to their maximum potential.



Is Carer Well-being the Key to Compassion in PBS? - Steve Noone

Steve Noone was a consultant clinical psychologist in the NHS for over 30 years, working with adults and children with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. This involved working with individuals and families, developing services and managing specialist PBS teams.

While at Bangor University, he helped to develop the MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis that was the first curriculum in the UK to be recognised by the Behaviour Analysis Certification Board. As part of that course, he developed a module on how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may be used to understand the emotional and cognitive responses of carers and undertook some of the first studies to investigate the impact of ACT with care staff. More recently he has worked with family carers within a participatory research project to identify indicators of success of acceptance and mindfulness workshops.

He undertook further training in Mindfulness Based Interventions and has worked with self-advocacy teams in Newcastle to deliver an adapted Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course for adults with intellectual disabilities.

His has been part of recent developments to develop and deliver a workforce strategy in PBS across the Cumbria and Northeast region, training staff from social care and the health service, together with a course for family carers delivered by family carers.

He is currently in the position of Reader in Education at Bangor University.

Supporting Staff Engagement - The Importance of Being Heard - Kelly Bushill 

Kelly has worked in social care for more than 20 years, holding many roles during this time: Support worker, Team Leader, Registered manager, and young offenders custody officer ages 12 to 18. She's a very motivated and positive person and have such passion for the work she does but also has the biggest passion for supporting the people we support and her teams.

It can be done: Managing barriers preventing community placements. Theresa Joyce

Dr Theresa Joyce has worked in services for adults with intellectual disabilities in both the statutory sector and independently. She is a clinical psychologist and has focused on supporting people who have behaviours that challenge. She developed and managed intensive support teams in the context of a hospital closure program, where individuals were enabled to move out of hospital and live in the community in ordinary places alongside other citizens. She has a degree in Mental Health Law, which has enabled her to consider legal and policy approaches to the provision of services and supports, and how they should be implemented in practice.

Her research and publications have included issues to do with the quality of services, as well as effective approaches to supporting people who have behaviours that challenge. She regularly provides expert reports to the Court on issues to do with capacity to make decisions and best interests. This can also include consideration of appropriate services and supports for an individual.

She worked at the CQC as the National Professional Advisor on Learning Disabilities. In this role she visited and inspected many inpatient services, and was a member of the team that developed and carried out the first phase of the review into restraint, seclusion and long term segregation. This enabled her to develop further understanding of the difficulties that are encountered when trying to support a person to leave hospital for a life in the community, and recognition that they extend beyond the barriers of finding resources, a house and a skilled staff team. This presentation will consider these barriers and difficulties , and methods by which we could begin to reduce their impact on the lives of people currently detained in hospital - when they should be discharged and supported to live in their own homes.

Deserving Better - People's Right to Effective PBS - Tia Martin

Tia first learned about behaviour analysis whilst working on a summer camp in New York. She was a law student at the time but, when summer camp was over, she knew her future was working with people with autism.

Tia has an MSc in Developmental Psychology and an MSc in Autism. In 2012, she moved to Belfast to start her PhD in Behaviour Analysis and Autism, focusing on the issue of behavioural safety, specifically behaviour-based water safety, which she completed in 2018.

During this time, Tia worked as the National Autism Advisor for a large social care provider, the manager of a PBS team operating across Scotland and the North of England, and now as a founding director of PBS UK who provide behavioural support to individuals with complex or challenging behaviour and organisations involved in their care across the UK. She has retained a love for research and is peer-reviewer and published journal author.