As the Service Manager for integrated Disability Services I am the lead commissioner for all service delivery to people with disabilities across the lifespan in my local authority.

Attending the workshop at the Learning Disability Wales conference last year set me thinking back to when I worked as a provider and the approach we took to enabling people to have flexible support agreed and negotiated with them.

Everybody has choices to make, do I want to do this, would I prefer to do that, what can I afford etc and this is no different for people with learning disabilities.

I was prompted to remember what service users valued about the way we delivered services to them in particularly the control they had over choosing when people supported them so that they could, if they wanted to ‘stay up late’.

I have gone back from this conference and asked our contracts team to insert in our supported living scheme contract the requirement to be flexible to meet the needs and wishes of people and not to restrict sleep ins to the 11-7 normally prescribed.

I think it is really important that we have groups such as Stay up Late to remind commissioners and social care providers what people with learning disabilities say that they want, what an ‘ordinary’ life is.

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