Belfast Health and Social Care Trust: Developing Positive Behaviour Support ethos in an Assessment and Intervention Inpatient Unit

Iveagh is an eight bedded assesment and treatment unit for young people with a learning disability and challenging behaviour or mental health dificulties. Following a review of services within the unit, concerns were raised regarding the quality of care young people were receiving. Specifically, high levels of restrictive practices were in use and this had implications for the wellbeing and safety of young people within the unit.

A positive behaviour support approach was implemented within the unit. To do this, new behaviour governance structures were developed to ensure clear accountability and review of restrictive practices. Behaviour support plans were developed, which were accessible to both staff, carers and young people.

Staff training in positive behaviour support principles was developed and rolled out throughout the unit to ensure staff had an understanding of the PBS culture. The rollout of this approach resulted in significant reductions in restrictive practices being used. Young people began accessing more community activities and families reported feeling involved in their child’s care.  

The judging panel felt that this project is an exemplar of the type of support and effective care that can be provided in an inpatient unit.

Highly Commended was Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital Trust.


Arden and Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit with Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities and Providers

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Community Learning Disabilities Team

Spectrum Community Health Community Interest Company



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