Learning Disability Programme – Bermuda Hospitals Board

Learning Disability Programme

Fairview Court, MWI

8am to 5pm Monday to Friday and by appointment

Tel: (441) 236-3770 ext 3380 or ext 3381


The Learning Disability Programme has its administrative base at the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, although many of the services are provided in the community. The programme provides a range of different types of support to adults who have learning disabilities (intellectual and developmental).

Services include 24-hour support in 13 group homes across the island, the New Dimensions Day Programme, respite care and the Community Support Team, which provides multidisciplinary assessment, advice and support to individuals, families and the group homes.

The philosophy of the Learning Disability Programme is that every service user should be supported in ways that increase their engagement in meaningful activities and relationships. This requires the service user to be at the forefront of everything that is done to support them.

Each service user in the group homes and New Dimensions will have an up-to-date Person Centered Passport that sets out what is important to them, and what staff need to know in order to support them to have a good day every day. To this end, all support staff have undergone the City and Guilds Level 2 certificate programme in Supporting Individuals with Learning Disabilities (4200) and have attended training workshops in active support and person-centred approaches.

A number of service users present behaviour that is considered to be challenging to those who are supporting them. Learning Disability has adopted the principles of positive behaviour support as the approach used to understand and respond to challenging behaviour.

This approach includes viewing the behaviour as being the person’s way of communicating that something is upsetting them. By changing the situations and events they experience, we can increase the person’s quality of life and reduce the likelihood that challenging behaviours will occur. Each service user whose behaviour is considered challenging will have a positive support plan in place. The plan emphasises ways to avoid trigger situations and how to de-escalate any situation that we have been unable to avoid.

Group Homes

There are 13 group homes across the length of Bermuda. Each home supports between four and nine people, with a total of 68 residents across all the group homes. The homes are staffed by community support workers, who are supported by two clinical managers and the members of the multidisciplinary team.

Two of the group homes have been adapted to enable people who use wheelchairs to be supported with dignity while maximising their independence. One of the properties belongs to BHB, but the other homes are rented on the open market or from Project 100, a charitable organisation established to purchase and adapt suitable houses.

A small number of service users in group homes are supported into sheltered employment. Up to 25 service users attend the New Dimensions Programme each day, while others are engaged in different community-based activities from the homes. Several of the homes have their own cars/minibuses or can access these on a regular basis.

New Dimensions Day Programme

The New Dimensions Day Programme provides an array of services for up to 25 service users who attend from our group homes, and some service users who live with their families in the community.

New Dimensions empowers and supports all service users in their quest to reach their full potential in an inclusive, diverse and creative environment. Service users are encouraged to excel in many different areas, such as arts and crafts, bowling, cricket, fishing, spirituality, exercise, work skills and visiting places of interest in the community.

Respite Care

Respite care can be provided in three of the group homes. Adults who live in their family home can apply for respite of up to six weeks per year. The aim of respite care is to provide regular breaks for families to enable them to support their family member throughout the rest of the year. Access to respite care is through the team’s social worker. It is usually paid for by the individual’s health insurance or by the family.