Care homes can be slow to make applications for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards says study

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Background The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) were introduced in 2009 following the Mental Capacity Act (2005). The safeguards were put in place to be used in situations where adults had been assessed as not having the mental capacity to make informed decisions about aspects of their care or treatment in care homes and hospitals. [read the full story...]

Improvements needed in training, joint working and liaison arrangements with criminal justice system for people with learning disabilities says report

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Background As far back as 1992, the Reed Report into the care of mentally disordered offenders identified the need for close working between the Police, Health and Social Services and set out some clear principles for offenders with learning disabilities which called for a individually tailored approach with care and treatment provided in the community, [read the full story...]

Psychiatric staff attitudes to supporting people with learning disabilities in acute mental health settings explored

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Background For some time now, UK policy has been to offer support to people with learning disabilities with additional mental health issues through mainstream mental health services. There has continued to be a debate about the effectiveness of this policy. The most recent guidance from the joint commissioning panel for mental health in fact stated [read the full story...]

Guide for CCGs on Personal Health Budgets for people with learning disabilities

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Background Personal Health budgets were introduced to enable people with long term conditions and disabilities to have greater choice, flexibility and control over the health care and support they receive. This month (April 2014), people who are eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) will have the right to ask for a personal health budget. [read the full story...]

Impact of a speech generating device on communication opportunities for woman with learning disabilities

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Background Communication is a fundamental right, but as the BILD Communication factsheet states, communication difficulties affect anywhere between 50% and 90% of people with learning disabilities. This factsheet also suggests that about 20% of people with learning disabilities may have no verbal communication skills but that they do demonstrate a will to communicate, and show [read the full story...]

Children with Down syndrome improved developmental quotient scores through responsive teaching in small RCT

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Background There are relatively few randomised controlled trials in interventions to support people with learning disabilities. There are often significant difficulties in design in multi-element real-life interventions, along with a range of ethical issues to consider. The researchers in this Turkish study however were keen to use the methodology to look at responsive teaching for [read the full story...]

What people with learning disabilities think about abuse and those who are abusers

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Background The recent events at Winterbourne View refocused attention on abuse of people with learning disabilities, and there is an acceptance of the need for system wide change as a result of the enquiries that followed the uncovering of these events. That change has posited the need to close Winterbourne View type services and help [read the full story...]

New charter for social care organisations to tackle health inequalities for people with learning disabilities

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Last year, we posted a guest blog by Pauline Heslop, a researcher at the Norah Fry Research Centre, who set out the alarming findings of a confidential enquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities. The enquiry found that people with learning disabilities die significantly younger in England and Wales than people without learning [read the full story...]

Introduction of Positive Behavioural Support in assessment and treatment unit associated with significant outcome gains

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Background The recent position paper by the Royal College of Psychiatrists on the need for in-patient beds for people with learning disabilities was published as part of the response to the Winterbourne View scandal. The paper made it clear that it was important to make a very clear distinction between the function of in-patient support [read the full story...]

Implementation of Care Programme Approach for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues very limited in London NHS Trust

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Background The Care Programme Approach (CPA) was introduced in the early 1990s as a response to a number of high profile situations involving significant lack of coordination of care. The CPA meant that anyone with experiencing severe mental health problems and who meets one or more criteria, should have their care co-ordinated under the Care [read the full story...]