Information alert

All projects featured in the Big Book of Best Practice 2022-23 include progress and results from the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. As these webpages will not be updated with progress, please contact the named contact for each project for more information or updates from post 1 April 2023. 

Below you can view all the entries that made it into the Big Book of Best Practice 2022-23 from the learning disabilities, neuro-developmental and acquired brain injury care group.

Contact details for each project can be found within the entries below. For more information about the Big Book of Best Practice, email

Team: Learning Disabilities, Neurodevelopmental and Acquired Brain Injury
4 Feedback Volunteer role and the de.JPG

What did we want to achieve?

The role of the feedback volunteer was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the care group could continue to capture and learn from the experiences of people who use the services, along with families and carers. The ole will ensure that where there is learning from the feedback received, services will be supported to seek to understand, respond, action, monitor and assure accordingly. 

What we did

The role has now been in place for over 15 months. A weekly process has been introduced within all care group services to develop the call sheet for the volunteers. This includes the name of the person, clinician involved, type of contact with the service and the agreed person to call to ask for feedback. The overall aim is to provide a dynamic and robust approach to ‘Ask Listen Do’. In creating the role, the team had not envisaged the extent of the effectiveness and opportunities for learning and developing outcomes this would open up, and this led to the development of a paid lived experience feedback support role, which further strengthens meaningful involvement of people accessing services, along with families, friends and carers.


The service now has qualitative insight into the service delivery and experience that is timely and proactively-sought at key junctures in peoples’ journey through services. This has enabled the development of a quarterly feedback report which highlights the ‘Ask, Listen, Do’ approach. Everyone accessing services, including families and carers, are proactively approached to ask about their experiences, listen and take forward any actions or share best practice. Last quarter, approximately 325 feedback calls were made, and if there were any questions or concerns, these were resolved quickly, working with clinical services. Staff have also received feedback around the positive impact they have been making as part of their role.

Next steps

  • Look at improving the recording system, as the current Friends and Family Test system does allow for the scope of the feedback captured.
  • Filter on the different aspects of service feedback – assessments, outpatient appointments, discharges and compliments, as well as where early resolutions have been achieved. 
  • Sharing of this work is taking place with other care groups as it is an effective and valuable way of listening to people’s experience but also ensuring service delivery is based on patient, carer and family needs.

Team: East Cheshire Learning Disability Community Team (ECLDT)

What did we want to achieve?

The team identified that, following discharge from treatment, some service users were struggling without regular contact with the team. This resulted in more telephone calls into the team for a ‘chat’ and led to the mental and physical health of some people deteriorating so much that they needed to be reallocated back into the team. The team felt that a system was needed to support people and provide a ‘stepping stone’ following discharge. 

What we did

An initiative called Touch Base was established to formally invite people to stay in touch with the community team following discharge. A leaflet was created to explain what Touch Base was and how they could be supported. Regular phone calls were planned and monthly coffee mornings were hosted, where people could pop in for a chat and a drink. The aim was to provide a safe space for people to connect with others and talk about anything they may be worried about.

To date, the team has hosted two coffee mornings which have been run by staff from the community team. Six people have attended so far, and feedback has been very positive, including:

  • “Can I come to the next one?”
  • “It’s good that we can have regular phone calls.”
  • “I like coming here with you all, talking to people I know, and I have opened myself up a bit more.”
  • “I think it’s a good idea.”


Since setting up Touch Base, the team has noticed people have been able to cope better during difficult times. Staff have also identified some health issues and have been able to act on these quickly, where before they may have gone unnoticed. 

Next steps

Building on the positive feedback, the sessions and phone calls will continue. The team is also planning to recruit a Touch Base volunteer to co-run the sessions with staff. This will be someone with lived experience and the role description has already been developed. Through the Participation and Engagement Subgroup, the work will be shared so other teams can learn from what has been developed.

Team: Adult Autism Service

What did we want to achieve?

The Adult Autism Service put together two resource booklets to send to people after their assessment. One booklet is for those who have received a diagnosis of autism, and the other is for those who haven’t. Although some of the information is discussed at follow up appointments, this resource is for people to keep for the future to have a better understanding on the support services available to them in their local areas. It is a helpful resource to share with professionals and other services working with autistic people. It is also shared with people who are not open to the Adult Autism Service who are looking for information on services available to them.

What we did

Information on support services available was included. The booklets include information on:

  • Groups and activities for autistic people.
  • Groups to support with mental health.
  • Apps for mood and anxiety.
  • Videos on strategies to help manage change.
  • Executive functioning strategies.
  • Education and employment services.
  • Support groups for carers. 

The booklets include websites, contact details and strategies. 


Positive feedback was received about the information provided after follow-up appointments. Below are some comments for those who have been assessed:

  • “Thank you for all of your help. The information you have provided has been invaluable.”
  • “Thank you very much, you have provided helpful information.”
  • “Really helpful and lots of useful information.” 

Other services and health professionals have been extremely grateful when they have been sent booklets to share with their teams or people they are working with.

Next steps

The service will continue to add resources to both booklets. We ensure that these are updated regularly to make sure services still exist and can provide the support suggested. We also ensure that websites and contact details are up to date. We will continue to send the booklets to those we have assessed and to other services to increase their knowledge on services available in the different areas. 

Team: Vocational Rehab Occupational Therapy, Acquired Brain Injury Service 

18 Virtual Volunteering Workshop.JPG

What did we want to achieve?

Work is a huge part of someone’s identity, as well as routine, self-worth, and social interactions. All the participants of the workshop had a clear idea of the direction of their life. Unfortunately, as a consequence of their acquired brain injury (ABI) or stroke, people are unable to return to work. This left them feeling lost and struggling to adapt to a new way of life. The aim of the ‘Virtual Volunteering Workshop’ was to develop a new provision for the service and to enable clients to explore volunteering through a virtual platform. Volunteering following an ABI can enhance recovery and be an important part of the adjustment process.

What we did

As Vocational Rehab Occupational Therapists facilitating the group, the team considered their service users’ needs and how to overcome physical, psychological, social, and environmental barriers to volunteering. The workshop ran for one hour a week over four weeks, followed by a review session. It had an accompanying booklet, which was particularly beneficial for service users with memory difficulties. Different volunteering opportunities available were explored, and guest speakers, including a variety of volunteering organisations and previous service users who spoke about their experiences volunteering, joined the sessions. At the final session, the participants set up an action plan. 


  • Two separate groups with 10 service users in total are running. 
  • Three clients entered volunteering following the workshops and have sustained their roles.
  • One is working in a paid role.
  • One volunteer gives canine advice at a dog café. 
  • One volunteer is working in a charity shop.

The workshop also provided the additional benefit of peer support. Peer support provides special connections, feelings of belonging and a particularly effective type of encouragement and empowerment.
Feedback from service users included: 

  • “It was good to be able to listen to others with similar problems.”
  • “The best bit was hearing about previous service users who are volunteering and how it can help those involved.”

Next steps

More groups are planned to run in the future.

You can watch a digital story ‘The Dog Man’, which tells the story of the service user who is now volunteering at the dog café, below. 


Honorable mentions

With nearly 100 entries received for the Big Book of Best Practice 2022-23, we have unfortunately been unable to include every entry in the final book. However, many of the projects – despite not being selected for full publication – deserve to be celebrated for the fantastic outcomes achieved.

You can view the honorable mentions for the learning disabilities, neuro-developmental and acquired brain injury care group below:

  • Wirral Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT)/Integrated Disability Service (IDS) - Integrated leisure lunch
  • East Cheshire Community Adult Learning Disability Team - Nurse-led medicine optimisation clinic
  • CANDDID - CANDDID Stakeholder Conference