What is Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)?

People’s behaviours are unique to them and they serve a purpose at the time they are displayed.

We try to understand why certain negative behaviours are displayed, so that we can offer the people we support opportunities to make a difference to their lives.

Here at M&D Care, we use Positive Behaviour Support as a behaviour management system to understand what maintains an individual’s challenging behaviour.


How is PBS used within M&D Care?

We use PBS to help understand challenging behaviour in the people we support. We try to understand those behaviours in systematic way, in order to work with the person to change or manage those behaviours.

This means identifying for both the people we support and staff, ‘triggers’, or ‘factors’ which may contribute to the challenging behaviour being performed. Evidence suggests that once, ‘triggers’ or ‘factors’ are identified it can sometimes means changing either, the environment or changing the approach of the staff who support them. By doing this we hope to decrease possibilities of challenging behaviour and increase the quality of life for the people we support.

PBS lies within the history of Learning Disabilities and has been successfully implemented within services for many years, but more recently Mental Health. M&D Care believe that this approach can be adapted within all other facets of care and as such, it is being implemented gradually across all of our services.

How is PBS implemented, assessed and managed in M&D Care?

Our Therapeutic Department’s PBS Support team, in consultation with Michelle Martin, (Clinical Lead), and Professor Kathy Lowe, (Visiting Specialist), oversee the various aspects of PBS implementation. Our PBS support team is led by three practice leaders: Kitiaria Muldoon, Joseph Curry, and Iwan Davies. All practice leaders will hold a PBS BTEC LvL5.

First, we develop for all of the people we support, a person centred plan of care. This is then implemented through our Active Support model.

Second, if we see instances of behaviours that challenge the person we support, it is then referred to our PBS Practitioners for specialist support. It is the responsibility of the Practitioner to carry out a series of assessments, which will result in a PBS plan of action.

Third, the PBS team will work closely with a variety of people, staff and external to maintain, advise and develop the Active Support and PBS plans to identified people we support.

Additionally, M&D Care has designated that each service will have a PBS Coordinator trained up to BTEC Level 4 in Positive Behavioural Support, with the potential and intention for support staff to gain PBS level 3 where applicable. They will also be trained as Active Support trainers. The Coordinators role is to assist the Practitioners with the implementation, assessment and management of PBS to the people we support in the daily life of the homes.

M&D Care has identified the following advantages of implementing PBS:

  • Understanding the function of challenging behaviour
  • Reduction in staff turnover/sickness
  • People we support to have a meaningful life within service
  • Change and opportunity to move to a less restrictive setting
  • Most importantly, people have fulfilled lives
I’ve been involved in research, teaching, training and service development for 42 years, and am co-author of the Active Support Model and the BTEC Qualifications in Positive Behavioural Support. I am semi-retired and continue to be active on national and international forums to do with Active Support and PBS. This is a period of development and expansion within M&D Care and I have been commissioned to provide external consultancy to the PBS department, recently established to support these changes. Currently this involves mentoring staff undertaking the BTEC Levels 4 and 5, and supporting Joey, Kiti and Iwan to implement the Active Support Model and PBS throughout the company. This also entails tailoring the necessary processes and procedures around this evidence-based practice to best suit the services provided by the company.
Kathy Lowe
PBS Professor
Christine Rose is an Active Support consultant whose work takes her across the UK within learning disabilities, mental health, older peoples services, as well as day opportunities. She has led a successful project for ARC Cymru, working across Wales to introduce, reintroduce and or reignite Active Support into Services. Christine had a key role in setting the foundations for implementing Active Support in Gwynedd, North Wales. Christine also managed a Department of Health project introducing Active Support to over 30 Services in England.

Christine works alongside academic subject matter experts on Active Support and is in the process of co-authoring the revised Active Support Handbook and other guidance materials. Christine has presented at conferences and worked in services promoting Active Support within teams in the UK, Denmark, Barcelona, Bahrain and the Republic of Ireland. Christine is currently working with us as a consultant, coach and Interactive Trainer as we implement and embed the Active Support model throughout our company.
Christine Rose
Active Support Consultant

Kitiaria Muldoon

PBS Practitioner and PBM ABMU Trainer

•Analysing and acting on Incident reports
•Liaising with Home managers in regards to the people we support
•Producing specialised case formulations for people we support
•Supporting Home Managers with updating plans and risk assessments
•Leading PBM Training both theoretical and practical
•Delivering Active Support Workshops and Interactive training
•Delivering an Active Support/PBS Introduction to new starters
•Writing of Transition and PBS Plans
•Attending training and COP’s for CPD purposes
•Coaching and mentoring sessions with Professor Kathy Lowe

Iwan Davies

PBS Practitioner

•Analysing and acting on Incident reports
•Planning Active Support, with the guidance from Kathy Lowe
•Implementation in the homes
•Attending a variety of staff and Managers Meetings
•Delivering Active Support Workshop Training to staff
•Delivering Interactive training to staff in the homes
•Delivering Workshop on Intro to Active Support and PBS to new starters
•Supervising Level 4 PBS Co-ordinators
•Attending Training and COP’s for CPD purposes
•Writing of a variety of internal reports and audits

Joey Curry

PBS Practitioner

•Travelling and completing assessments on potential people we support
•Writing a variety of behavioural reports for both internal and external use
•Meeting staff, the people we support and a variety of care professionals to advise and also receive guidance to improve the quality of life of the people we support
•Work on my PHD, funded by the company, on Active Support Implementation, inspired by PBS specialist and mentor, Kathy Lowe
•Attending training and COP’s for CPD purposes
•Delivering Active Support workshop training and interactive training
•Developing data collection methods for interpretative purposes
•Delivering Active Support Workshop Training to staff
•Delivering Interactive training to staff in the homes
•Delivering Workshop on Intro to Active Support and PBS to new starters