Quality of practice in supported accommodation services for people with intellectual disabilities: What matters at the organisational level

Christine Bigby, Emma Bould, Teresa Iacono, Julie Beadle-Brown

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Organisational and service level factors are identified as influencing the implementation of Active Support. The aim was to explore differences in organisational leadership and structures to identify potential relationships between these factors and the quality of Active Support in supported accommodation services. Method: Fourteen organisations participated in this mixed methods study, which generated data from interviews with senior leaders, document reviews and observations of the quality of Active Support. Results: Qualitative analyses revealed three conceptual categories: senior leaders in organisations where at least 71% of services delivered good Active Support prioritised practice; understood Active Support; and strongly supported practice leadership. In these organisations practice leadership was structured close to everyday service delivery, and as part of frontline management. Conclusions: Patterns of coherent values, priorities and actions about practice demonstrated by senior leaders were associated with successful implementation of Active Support, rather than documented values in organisational policy or procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-302
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


  • Active Support
  • Intellectual disability
  • leadership
  • organisational and management structure
  • practice leadership
  • quality of life
  • supported accommodation

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