An encouraging response to Positive Behavioural Support

Care providers across the UK are being urged to adopt Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) techniques - it's one of the core post-Winterbourne recommendations. We agree that PBS is a major step forward in care provision – this has been central to our approach for many years.

The Department of Health's final report on Winterbourne View favours Positive Behavioural Support as a key support strategy for helping people with serious challenging behaviours. This is a recommendation which we at Modus Care firmly support; we have been using PBS as a way to support all the people in our care homes since 2006 and we have seenfirst-hand the many beneficial effects.

Kelly Melrose, Behavioural Team Manager at Modus Care says: "We have seen significant benefits for individuals from using the PBS approach. They have been more able to manage their behaviour, improve their quality of life and have been able to increase their community presence. We have seen a definite reduction in challenging behaviours and have been actively working towards restraint reduction for the people that we support."

As well as two PBS specialists, Modus Care employs a number of nurses and other care providers who are trained in its use.

Modus is currently developing a one day staff training course, to communicate the background to PBS and the positive outcomes it can have for people. Access to an online training package will compliment this providing additional knowledge and skills for all staff.

What is Positive Behavioural Support?

PBS is an intervention package and a set of processes that can be used to support people with autism and Asperger's who engage in difficult behaviours. It is founded on the insight that complex behavioural challengeshave often developed because the people have difficulty communicating their needs and wants. The challenging behaviour is often a way to communicate something important. It may be a way to get attention, an object or activity, or to get away from stressful people, places or situations. It may also be related to internal physiological challenges.

PBS helps identify what function the behaviour is serving. From that it's possible to teach new skills that help modify and replace the behaviour with a more appropriate and effective communication or social skill. It also, of course, includes planning to avoid situations, events and settings that trigger the difficult behaviour. With Positive Behavioural Support, the individual Service Users are active participants and contributors.