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Work to ‘Break down barriers’ wins finalist spot in national awards

The National Learning Disability and Autism Care Awards Finalist on a sparkly gold background.

The brilliant work of Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s Neurodiversity Offender Health team has seen them shortlisted as a finalist in the National Learning Disability and Autism Care Awards 2023.

The awards celebrate excellence in support for people with learning disabilities and autism. The Nottinghamshire Healthcare team is a finalist in the Breaking Down Barriers team category.

Around one in seven people are neurodivergent, meaning that the brain functions, learns and processes information differently.

About the team

The Neurodiversity Offender Health Team was set up in summer 2020 to support people in a prison setting who are suspected or confirmed to have autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or learning disabilities. The team provides care from the day an individual arrives in prison to the day they leave.

Becky Sutton, Chief Operating Officer, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to see the fantastic work of this team recognised nationally. They do such an important job supporting our neurodiverse patients to ensure they get all the support they need. Wishing them the best of luck for the next stage.”

Working as ‘passionate advocates’

Allison Woodhead, Clinical Lead for Neurodiversity (Autism, ADHD, Intellectual Developmental Disorders) - Offender Health said: “We have a team of eight neurodiversity practitioners, each working in a different East Midlands prison.

“We act as passionate advocates for the people we support. Neurodiverse prisoners face many challenges and barriers to participation and inclusion. We ensure that the prison and criminal justice system understands the reasonable adjustments needed to help an individual be safe and well in a prison setting.

“We work together, in partnership with the person, to identify their skills, interests, strengths and needs. It’s important to us that they contribute their views and experiences when it comes to changing their lives for the better.”

The neurodiversity practitioners carry out assessments of people’s strengths and needs and make diagnostic assessments, write support plans and ensure other prison departments understand an individual’s strengths and needs. They also offer psychoeducation in groups and for individuals, ensure people have access to other healthcare services and make referrals for support on release.

About the awards

The awards represent all areas of care and support for people with learning disabilities and autism within the care sector, whether it be young or older people, supporting people in their own homes, the residential care sector or the voluntary sectors.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 30 June. Find out more at



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