This paper reports a retrospective case note study of all patients with learning disability and challenging behaviour admitted to Kneesworth House Hospital between 1986 and 1991 (n=70), describing their demographic and clinical characteristics. The subjects had high levels of psychiatric morbidity, in addition to learning disability. Patients whose stay was relatively short, or who were discharged to community placements, were not able to be differentiated on clinical grounds, suggesting that the provision of local facilities determined the length of the admission. There is a need for more regional and sub-regional services for this group with multiple long-term problems.
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