About the Service

PALMS (Positive behaviour, Autism, Learning disability and Mental health Service) works across the county providing a specialist multi-disciplinary approach to children and young people aged 0-19 who have a global learning disability and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorder and their families. PALMS clinicians comprise a ‘virtual team’ delivering a consistent service in a variety of community settings.

PALMS aims to keep children and young people with their families within Hertfordshire thereby improving outcomes for all family members.

We are a cohesive team who support one another to work in dynamic and innovate ways to provide the best possible service.

We are a family-led service working to understand and support the significant impact of challenges experienced by families of children and young people with learning disabilities and/or ASD
To achieve this we work closely with children and young people, their families, colleagues and commissioners and view working closely as a key approach that underpins PALMS.

We strive to focus on both prevention and intervention. We endeavour to help children and young people move towards attaining their ambitions and leading happy, healthy and fulfilled lives.

We aim to promote the involvement of children, young people and their families and carers in the evolution of PALMS in a meaningful and helpful way for the local communities across Hertfordshire.

Contact the service

Tel: 01727 732007

Clinic Parking Information


Who's In the Team?

PALMS are a multi-disciplinary team, with training and experience in working with children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Learning Disabilities.

Through your journey of care with PALMS, you may meet some of the professionals detailed below.

Service Lead

The Service Lead provides both clinical and strategic leadership to the PALMS team. They oversee the service and the journey of care that families go through during their time at PALMS. The Service Lead is responsible for providing expertise and specialist advice to both the PALMS team but also the wider professional network.

The Service Lead is involved in all service projects and acing upon service feedback. The Service Lead is involved in developing new pathways within the service and wider Trust.


Clinical Lead

The Clinical Lead provides the therapeutic team with support and guidance in their work with families. The Clinical Lead is also a Clinical Psychologist and holds a small case load of families as well as managing the allocation of families across the whole of PALMS. The Clinical Lead manages the Duty and Triage processes as well as coordinating the intensive support pathway.

The Clinical Lead is involved in projects across the service as well as ensuring the smooth implementation of clinical processes across the team.

Becky and Jenna


The Psychiatrists within the PALMS team play a large role in reviewing and prescribing medication where appropriate and contributing to mental health assessments. The PALMS psychiatrist identify concerns for the child or young person and advise about what may help which relates to developmental aspects and well as the emotional needs of the child.

The PALMS psychiatrist also works within the multidisciplinary team structure at PALMS including taking part in initial assessment appointments.


Speech and Language Therapists

The Speech and Language Therapist at PALMS is involved with second opinion diagnosis of children and young people presenting with possible Autism Spectrum Disorder.

They contribute to the whole communication environment within the family home in order to make the best use of the child or young person’s communication styles to help to reduce frustrations related to communication.

Mayuri and Natalie

Administrative Team

The Administrative Team will most likely be your first point of contact with PALMS. The administrative team will help with day to day running of PALMS, ensuring that families are kept updated and informed of the journey of care for their child.

As well as providing administrative support to PALMS clinicians, this team will manage the intake of referrals and pass this information on to relevant professionals within the PALMS team.

Assistant PALMS Practitioners

Assistant PALMS Practitioners bring a range of different backgrounds and experience to the PALMS team. They aim to provide direct support within the child and young person’s home to support families to implement strategies to reduce challenging behaviours.

Assistant PALMS Practitioners within PALMS will work closely alongside the Outreach Workers to provide a consistent approach to applying strategies in the home.

Becky and Elaine

Assistant Psychologists

Assistant Psychologists assist with clinically relevant admin for the service which includes collating and analysing data from clinical measures, service feedback and service audits. The Assistant Psychologists plan and run forums and users groups and use the information gathered from these to inform service projects. Assistant Psychologists support with workshops and groups and also have a small clinical caseload where they enhance and support the care of the young person through their journey with PALMS.

Assistant Psychologists are sometime on their own journey to the Clinical Psychology doctorate and their time at PALMS provides them with valuable experience to support their application to becoming a Clinical Psychologist.


Clinical Psychologists

Clinical Psychologists within PALMS aim to reduce psychological distress and enhance and promote psychological well-being for the young person and their family.

Clinical Psychologists work with a range of emotional needs within PALMS to support children, young people, and their families. They will help to offer an integrated team formulation of the needs of your child and your family through the use of evidence based best practice.

All of the Clinical Psychologists within PALMS are registered with the national regulatory body, the Health Care Professionals Council which maintains an on line register of all Clinical Psychologists meeting the required standards They also work to standards set by the British Psychological Society

Rebecca, Catherine, Ellen, Annie, Ana and Alex

Development Lead

The Development Lead manages and coordinates all service projects with the team. They support the Leadership Team in identifying gaps in the service and taking forward ideas to address these.  The Development Lead is involved in evaluating the estate used and needed by PALMS ensuring this is fit for purpose. A large part of the Development Lead’s role involves collating, analysing and presenting a large volume of data for the service which is provided to the commissioning team.

The Development Lead supports the Clinical team with coordinating initial assessment appointments, workshops, service days and team meetings.

Lizzy and Victoria

Duty Triage Worker

The Duty Triage Worker could be a clinician from a variety of clinical backgrounds. Their main role within the team is providing a screening and triage service which uses their professional judgement to determine the most appropriate outcome for the families who are referred to PALMS.

The Duty Triage Worker is the first point of contact for queries relating to referrals to PALMS as well as providing clinical advice to families and professionals who are currently waiting for the service. The Duty Triage Worker will undertake priority assessments and Joint Choice assessments with our CAMHS colleagues. The Duty Triage Worker will hold a small case load of their own and contribute to the teams peer reflection and clinical discussion.

Learning Disability Nurses

The Learning Disability Nurses within the PALMS team offer a variety of skills and experience. As trained nurses, they are able to advise parents and other members of the multi-disciplinary team on the complex health needs people with learning disabilities may experience. They also provide detailed information on current and proposed medications.

The Learning Disability Nurses help with the implementation and monitoring of behaviour support plans. They will offer advise with toileting, feeding and sleeping programmes, and work as part of the multidisciplinary team offering assessment appointments, workshops and groups.


Outreach Workers

PALMS Outreach Workers provide a ‘hands on,’ direct approach to support families with the successful implementation of suggested strategies particularly around toileting, sleeping feeding and challenging behaviour. The Outreach Workers contribute to the developing of intervention plans and act as a care coordinator for the family. They work closely with other members of the PALMS team to support the physical and mental health of the young person. Outreach Workers undertake community observations to support and guide the work with the young person and their family. Outreach Workers also assist with the running of workshops and groups.

Deborah, Katie, Tracey and Shauna

Senior Positive Behaviour Analysts

Myrta and Jenna

Positive Behaviour Analysts

Positive Behaviour Practitioners (PBAs) work with families to reduce challenging behaviour within the home environment and to increase the quality of life. PBPs are trained to analyse behaviours and identify their functions, this is called functional behaviour assessment. Functional behaviour assessment includes observations, data recording and information gathering.

PBAs also guide and support families within a clinic setting to implement strategies to reduce behaviours which can challenge.

Alice, Steph and Lisa

Systemic Therapists

Systemic therapists are trained to assess family functioning and strengths and how these can be drawn upon within a therapeutic setting.

Systemic therapists within PALMS offer a range of support including family therapy. This may involve working to understand relationships within families and thinking further about how the child or young person is established within this structure.

All Systemic therapists within the PALMS team are registered with the national regulatory body, the Health Care Professionals Council.


Clinic Locations

How the Service is provided

Who is eligible for this Service

What will happen at your appointment

Useful information

Making a referral

Patient Experience