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Positive Choices 2016

Positive Choices is a large annual conference primarily aimed at Student Learning Disability Nurses. It always promises big names from the learning disability sector exhibiting and holding talks on important topics such as Transforming Care. This year was no less impressive.

The event was held in Nottingham University’s Engineering and Science Learning Centre on the 31st April - 1st March. The first day saw many of the Student Nurse attendees visiting the exhibition stands, discussing with each of the organisations about their future prospects, current studies, and of course grabbing a few free pens and sweets. Over the course of the two day event, there were a number of inspirational talks and performances on important topics in the learning disability sector. This included talks on Transforming Care held by Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for the NHS Commissioning Board, ‘Inclusion Superheroes and Leadership’ by Helen Laverty, Professional Lead for Learning Disability Nursing at the University of Nottingham and organiser of Positive Choices, and a fantastic performance from MiXit, an inclusive performance group who sing and act, which received a standing ovation.

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The whole event was a great success and we would like to thank everyone who attended and came to speak to us, we would especially like to thank Helen Laverty for organising such a fantastic event. A service user from one of Danshell’s services in the North East, who attended the event, thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, saying “I can’t wait for the next one”  before it had even finished!

It was fantastic to meet so many passionate LD Student Nurses and we hope to work alongside some of you and see you develop in your careers in the near future.

If you wish to find out more about some of the nursing conferences we have organised later in the year please email to find out more.


New CEO Appointed at Danshell

MelDanshell Healthcare Group has appointed Mel Ramsey as its Chief Executive Officer.

Mel brings a wide range of experience with more than 20 years within the healthcare sector.  She joins Danshell from New Century Care, where she managed a business with 27 care homes, supporting more than 1200 people.   

Other roles include senior positions at Embrace Group and Craegmoor, part of the Priory Group.

A qualified nurse, Mel has significant experience developing and maintaining robust clinical governance systems and a proven track record in delivering market leading services in the sector.

She takes over from current CEO Andrew Murray who will become  Development Director.

Andrew Murray will focus on the development of the business; working with the business development and property teams to source potential acquisitions and shape new and existing services to meet the needs of local commissioners. 

Andrew Murray said:  “I am leaving the day to day operation of the business in extremely capable hands having completed the turnaround of the business.  Mel is an experienced, skilled and accomplished senior manager who I am sure will bring her own ideas and impetus to Danshell, with the full support of the Board.

“I am keen to slightly reduce my professional responsibilities but I am fully committed to playing a significant but bespoke role in delivering Danshell’s Corporate Strategy on developments, which will cement its place as a leading provider of care services for people living with learning disability, autism and complex needs.

“I am looking forward to working with Mel and the Board to achieve our aims and ambitions.”

Mel Ramsey said:  “I am absolutely delighted by the opportunity to be joining the team at Danshell, and continuing the excellent work leading and shaping the future of this very successful group is hugely exciting.

Danshell is well positioned to meet the opportunities and challenges in the sector as we continue to deliver our corporate strategy towards becoming a leading provider of high quality specialist care and support”

Efi Hershkovitz, executive chairman at Danshell, said:  “I’d like to thank Andrew for his exceptional work as chief executive.  He leaves the role with the company in excellent shape, providing the very highest quality of care and support to service users.

“Mel Ramsey is the ideal person to take over Andrew’s mantle and continue to drive the business forward.” 

Mel will also work alongside other fellow directors Stephen Greenwood, finance director and corporate development director Ori Zaidman to further develop the business. 

Danshell, which was founded in 2010, has grown rapidly to become one of the largest independent sector providers of specialist learning disability services with 23 services across the country.

In Memoriam - Kate Padfield

Kate PadfieldIt is was with deep sadness that this month we were informed of the tragic news that Kate Padfield, Professional Lead for Speech and Language Therapy, had passed away.

Many of us had worked closely with Kate during her long and dedicated service with the company and this news was a shock.

We have collected a number of quotes from her friends who worked alongside her, and those she worked with, who all wanted to express their gratitude:

“Kate was an excellent voice for those service users that had difficulties with communication.  Her warmth and generosity in all walks of life – family, Danshell and charity work is an example to us all.  She will be dearly missed.” - Cate Ball

“Flamboyant and colourful.”– Karen Topley

“Passionate, kind hearted and witty... Brilliantly bonkers!!”– Lucy Hazlehurst

“Kate gave Service Users that strong second voice that they needed to be heard.”– Chris Forman

“Kate dedicated 10 years of passion, support and brilliance. She will be missed by all.” – Wast Hills

“Kate was one in a million and will be greatly missed by everyone at Danshell.” – Sharena Record

Midlands 3“A wonderfully eccentric lady who could capture and enthral a room full of people with stories of her (mis)adventures.” – Stacey Clarke

“Crazy, caring and one in a million.” – Jackie Whiley

“Empathetic...funny...beautiful.” – Nyasha Sithole, Beth Fields & Kate Inchley

“An enthusiastic, caring and well informed individual...a good teacher.” – Dr Nath 

We would like to pass on our deepest condolences to Kates family at this difficult time.


We are Transforming Care Infographic



Outlined in this infographic are the ways in which Danshell are responding to Transforming Care. Please click the image to view it on a larger format.



Danshell Supports Equality In Employment Festival


On the 23nd of February, Danshell attended and exhibited at the Equality in Employment fair held in the Royal Armouries, Leeds, hosted by CHANGE and sponsored by the Department of Health. The festival’s aim was to showcase the best practice models of employing people with disabilities, provide information and opportunities for people with learning disabilities thinking about employment and to give clear, practical advice to employers wishing to diversify their workforce.

Hundreds were expected to turn up with lots of large organisations attending including Mencap, NHS England, Disability Rights UK, Sunderland People First, Inclusion North and many more.  A number of people from Danshell were in attendance, including a gentleman from Newbus Grange, who with his support workers was looking at the prospects offered by the exhibiting organisations.

The events of the day included lots of fantastic talks, workshops and performances by different groups, all giving great advice and help to potential employees and employers. During the first half of the event some of the organisers from CHANGE performed a play about the lack of equality in employment for those with disabilities in the UK, and our friends from Sunderland People First gave a very interactive and engaging workshop named Make it Your Business to be Person Centred, led by some very inspirational people talking from experience. In the main hall during the afternoon everyone was serenaded over lunch by The Outsiders, a group of musicians all of whom have learning disabilities, who performed absolutely brilliantly. After lunch everyone was given the opportunity to listen to an extremely interesting and memorable talk by Professor Chris Hatton of Lancaster University who showed us the reality in numbers of people doing paid work who have a learning disability.

The day was an all-around success for all who attended with everyone walking away with big smiles, bags full of goodies, and some with potential new work. The informative talks, brilliant presentations and fantastic performances brought the whole event together and really showed hope for change in equality in employment for those with disabilities. We would like to thank CHANGE for hosting a great event for a fantastic cause. We really enjoyed interacting with all who attended and we can’t wait for the next one!

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