Welcome to the Learning Disability and Autism Clinical Network

This intranet page has been developed as a resource to support and inform colleagues of developments in delivery of services for adults with learning disabilities and/or autism.  This applies to support that can be provided through our specialist learning disability services, services for autistic people and across our mainstream services.  

We welcome feedback, comments and contributions to our programme of work and content – perhaps you would like to become involved in one of our projects or propose one – so please do get in touch by emailing: Alastair.Barrowcliff@merseycare.nhs.uk or Georgia.Fair@merseycare.nhs.uk.

The network exists to collaboratively create, learn, share and develop ways of working that support people with learning disability and autistic people to enable their human rights to live well, stay safe, and be healthy through addressing health inequalities (Purpose Statement, Terms of Reference)

The Learning Disability and Autism Clinical Network refers to a diverse group of colleagues contributing to the delivery of the Trust vision of Clinical Excellence as applied to Adult Learning Disability and Adult Autism Services.  Work supported through the Clinical Network has a pan-borough focus, supporting alignment of processes and equitable working practices and provision across our Trust.

The Clinical Network is supported by multidisciplinary practitioners with interest and experience in working alongside adults with learning disabilities and/or autism from across our Mersey Care services and teams. It is inclusive of professional groups and is pan-borough in membership. Whilst there is a Core Group of colleagues who meet monthly with primary representation from across specialist learning disability and autism teams, participation with the Network is not exclusive to this meeting (see: How to get involved). 

You can support this Clinical Network in a number of ways, with three key areas of access and engagement. Main levels of participation are in respect to:

  • Core Group membership (places are necessarily limited)
  • Project (Task and Finish) Group membership
  • Keeping in touch via the intranet pages and updates

We offer a number of spaces at each monthly Core Group meeting to those who are interested in finding out about having greater involvement in this work programme. 

We want to encourage and support engagement from all our colleagues across the Trust, from those who specialise in working with adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to those who may have limited experience in provisioning healthcare support for these populations.

Everyone has something potentially valuable to contribute to the projects and outputs of the Clinical Network and we welcome your support. Please just browse the monthly updates to see which projects are underway at present to which you may wish to contribute.

If you would like to find out more and can’t find what you are looking for in these pages, and you work within the services currently represented at the Core Group (see: Core Group membership and contacts) reach out to your local Core Group member for discussion.  Otherwise, just email Alastair.Barrowcliff@merseycare.nhs.uk and Georgia.Fair@merseycare.nhs.uk.

The strength of a network is in its membership, so please stay informed and connected. We provide monthly updates (see: Core Group meeting summary presentations).

We welcome all our Mersey Care clinical teams and services to access the resources promoted by the Learning Disability and Autism Clinical Network and encourage broad membership of our project groups.  However, membership of the Core Group is necessarily limited to support meaningful discussion and consistent representation in our monthly meetings.  Note there are multiple ways in which you can support the Clinical Network (see: How to get involved with the Learning Disability and Autism Clinical Network) with Core Group members ensuring we have a direct interface with our specialist teams and Special Members representing other teams/services where significant key touchpoints in clinical operation and delivery are identified and/or interest expressed. 

Below we list the Mersey Care Teams currently invited to participate within the Core Group and the representatives of those teams.  We also provide details of our growing list of Special Members. These colleagues should serve as your local points of contact where Network items may have implications for local delivery. 

Team/service name Member name and job title
Liverpool CLDT

Charlotte Marshall, Clinical Psychologist

Georgia Fair, Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist (Deputy Chair)

Liam Thomas, Enhanced Care Home Learning Disability Practitioner

Sefton CLDT

Daniel Walsh, Specialist Physiotherapist

Max Jenkinson, RNLD

St Helens CLDT

Amanda Smith, RNLD and Clinical Lead

Dionne Broda, RNLD within ISF

Beth Cronin, Specialist Physiotherapist

Alastair Barrowcliff, Consultant Clinical Psychologist (Chair)

Knowsley CLDT

Karl Jones, RNLD/Clinical Lead

Sarah McGing, Advanced Speech & Language Therapist

Shannon Smyth, RNLD within ISF

Warrington CLDT

Debbie Kerr, RNLD/Training & Development Facilitator

Laura Edwards, RNLD

Nicola Evans, Clinical Lead/ Strategic Health Facilitator

Rachel Boswell, RNLD/Team Manager

Wavertree Bungalows

Amy Peacock, RNLD/Team Manager

Byron Ward

Bethan Bell, Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Eleanor Dibbert, Health Care Assistant

Stephen Quinn, Support Worker

Liverpool/Sefton Autism team

Andrew Barlow, Clinical Specialist

Eleanor Taylor, Clinical Psychologist

John Rogers, Joint Team Manager
Former Mid Mersey Autism areas

Elizabeth Doherty, ASC Diagnostic Practitioner

Clare Spooner, ASC Diagnostic Practitioner

Sonia Anderson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist/Clinical Lead

Low Secure (LD) services

Johannes Cronje, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and Clinical Director

Special members/Teams

Rachel Mayner, Nurse Consultant Learning Disability and Autism

Amy McMeekin, Service Lead, The Life Rooms

Alison Paul, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Lead

Alexandra Shepherd, Senior Clinical Skills Facilitator, Clinical Skills Team


Please access and share meeting summaries, below.  Here you can keep up to date with key projects being pursued and where new project group members are being sought. 

Month/Year of meeting

Team summary

November 2023

Coming soon

October 2023

See the attached document

September 2023

See the attached document

August 2023

See the attached document

July 2023

See the attached document

June 2023

See the attached document

May 2023

See the attached document

We have a number of clinical pathways specific to working with adults with a learning disability that have been developed and are recommended by the Core Group for use across the Trust. Others are currently in development and/or being reformatted to follow a Standard Operating Procedure structure. Details of links and leads are provided in the table below - the leads will welcome contact if you are interested in contributing to the specific area of development or have questions about the information provided.




Assessment of Learning Disability: Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Alastair Barrowcliff

Damian Howard

Awaiting ratification (target launch Jan 2024)

Assessment of Autism in Adults with a Learning Disability: Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Karl Jones

Debbie Kerr

Louise Bell

Ongoing workstream (completion date tbc)


Reasonably Adjusted and Accessible Care Plans: Clinical Guidance and Templates

Sarah McGing

Beth Cronin

Ongoing workstream (completion date tbc)


Reasonable Adjustment Care Plan: A Template Care Plan

Task completed and sitting with SLT

Awaiting ratification (target launch tbc)

Support for parents with Learning Disability: Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Diane Roberts

Max Jenkinson


Ongoing workstream (completion date tbc)


Working with Behaviours of Concern: Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Bethan Bell

Sarah Wastell

Ongoing workstream (completion date tbc)


We have a range of clinical resources you can access through this page. 

All of the clinical resources accessible here have been recommended by the Clinical Network.   They are included here where they are not yet available on Rio (note we have checked for copyright). 

If you have a tool, resource, or guidance that would be useful for use across services for adults with a learning disability and/or autism please let us know. 

External resource



Clinical Outcome Routine Evaluation-Learning Disabilities 30-Item (CORE-LD30)



The CORE-LD30 is recommended as a useful broad ranging pan theoretical measure of psychopathology for use with an ID population. Domains (problems/symptoms; risk to self; risk to others) may prove to be useful for research and clinical purposes. 

See: https://doi/10.1111/jir.12551

Blank record form

Visual Prompts

Glasgow Depression Scale for Learning Disabilities (GDS-LD)



Useful measure of depression in people with a learning disability for both clinical and research practice. It is not intended as a diagnostic tool, although a clinical cut-off value is recommended. 

See: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.182.4.347

Glasgow Anxiety Scale for Intellectual Disability (GAS-ID)


Useful measure of anxiety in people with an intellectual disability for both clinical and research practice. It is not intended as a diagnostic tool.

See:  https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2788.2003.00457.x

An update regarding this comprehensive work undertaken within the Trust will follow very soon.

Easy Read Mental Health Act information 

(to follow)

Accessible medication leaflets

Birmingham University accessible