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Intensive Support Team (IST) for People With Learning Disabilities - NHFT

Intensive Support Team (IST) for People With Learning Disabilities - NHFT logo


Floor 2, Newland House, Campbell Square
United Kingdom

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The Intensive Support Team (IST) is part of the Community Learning Disability Service provided by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The team includes:

  • Learning Disability and Mental Health Nurses
  • Behaviour Nurse Specialist
  • Positive Behaviour Support Specialists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Psychology
  • Support Workers
  • Administrative and Clerical Staff

The IST deliver specialist multi-disciplinary healthcare assessment and treatment services locally for individuals (aged 14+) who have a learning disability with/or presenting with a mental illness and/or severe challenging behaviour.

The team works intensively with individuals and their support system, where behaviour that challenges persists or becomes more serious (to the point where a person and/or others are at risk of serious harm). The team also works with individuals who are at risk of exclusion from ordinary community settings (including admission to hospital).

The service provided is person-centred and tailored to the individual and their environment. It takes into account the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of individuals.

Assessments are carried out where it is most appropriate for the individual. For example, in the individual’s own home, in the community, or within the inpatient services. IST aim to prevent hospital admissions and, where someone has been admitted to hospital, to smooth the discharge process. Following an intensive period of assessment, the team develops a positive behaviour support plan to provide a sustainable long-term solution. This can include:

  • Plans to help the person find different ways to gain what they need through proactive strategies
  • Plans to deal with the problems as they arise with reactive strategies
  • Support, person specific training and development for families and providers of services
  • Psychological support to help people change the way they think and feel (including systemic input for families)
  • Suggested changes to a person’s environment

The IST works in close partnership with the individual, their family, and other services (such as the other CTPLDs, Transforming Care, mental health services, social services, generic health services, independent and voluntary services, advocacy services, and commissioners).

All referrals to the Intensive Support Team (IST) are made through the Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities. A person can be referred to the IST if they:

  • Are aged 14 or over
  • Have a diagnosis of Learning Disability
  • Exhibit challenging behaviour and/or a mental health concern
  • Require intensive assessment, support, and intervention


  • Brackley Area
  • Corby Area
  • Daventry Area
  • East Northants Area
  • Kettering Area
  • Northampton Area
  • Towcester Area
  • Wellingborough Area
  • North Northamptonshire
  • West Northamptonshire
  • Northamptonshire
Additional languages
Translation and/or Interpreting Available on Request
Age range
Suitable for ages from 14 years to 100 years
Referral route
  • GP or Healthcare Referral
  • Professional Referral
For people with
Learning Disabilities
Eligibility criteria
Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
Provider category
Specialist Services - For those who require longer-term support

Service hours


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Last updated 22 March 2024