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Eileen Flavelle


Eileen started her career as a Learning Disability Nurse, She moved to Plymouth in 1980 and was involved in the first closures of institutions and bringing people back home. She then worked as the Lead Officer for Learning Disabilities with South and West Devon Health Authority where she was instrumental in changing services in Plymouth and Devon.

People with very complex needs require understanding and compassion coupled with a great deal of clinical expertise. Eileen has worked for many years in service provision to individuals who needed extraordinary support to live ordinary lives. Through her direct leadership a way of supporting was developed that combined the warmth of support with the clarity of therapeutic intervention. This is a difficult mix. The result can only be measured in human terms - people living quality lives with quality support. Processes were developed where people were involved in designing the support they wanted, when they wanted it, choosing where they lived and the people who supported them. Many people have celebrated reduction in their hours of paid support, connections with their families and community, paid employment, workmates and friends who they meet up with to go on nights out. For many people, it took courage and belief to take risks to get them to where they wanted to be and it was trusting relationships with the support teams which enabled that to happen.

In the last 13 years, Eileen has played the central role in establishing two successful and well regarded providers of support services for adults with learning disabilities and complex/forensic histories. She has also provided consultancy to the NHS and Local Authorities in evaluating service provision in Devon.