Joint Initiative to Implement Best Practice in Care for People with an Intellectual Disability

Posted on: 08 December 2011

A new collaborative initiative between Trinity College Dublin and Stewarts Care Ltd will aim to implement person-centred practice in residential care settings for children and adults with an Intellectual Disability. The 18 month initiative, led by the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences  at Trinity, Professor Mary McCarron, was launched recently at a jointly held conference on ‘Person Centred Practice for People with an Intellectual Disability – An International Perspective’.

The Conference offered service-users, relatives, academics and healthcare professionals, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students a unique opportunity to develop their understanding of person-centred practice in facilitating people with an intellectual disability live the life they want to live. Experts also shared the most recent advances in how best to develop and facilitate person centred approaches to care.

Joint organiser of the conference and Assistant Professor and Head of the Discipline of Intellectual Disability Nursing at Trinity College Dublin, Paul Keenan presented a comprehensive review of current literature and research on person-centred practice.  The key note address was given by Director of the Centre for Research into Disability and Society at Curtin University, Australia, Professor Errol Cocks.  Professor Cocks is currently a visiting Professor at the National Institute for Intellectual Disabilities in Trinity College Dublin.  During his address he shared the experiences and lessons from the development, over the past forty years, of person-centered intellectual disability services in Australia. 

Other contributors included Trinity’s Dr Colin Griffiths, who spoke about the challenges and opportunities for person-centred practice from an Irish Social Policy Context, and the Rossecourt Drama Group, who performed a drama which identified the importance of listening to and taking seriously the views and wishes of the people who use the services.  The conference concluded with a balanced analysis of the way forward for services in Ireland by Director of Care in Stewarts Care Ltd, Eddie Denihan.