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Psychiatry of learning disability – a future with mental health?

  • R. Alexander (a1), A. Regan (a2), S. Gangadharan and S. Bhaumik (a3)
Abstract
Aims and Method

A postal survey was sent to all consultants in the psychiatry of learning disability from four English regions. Their views on job satisfaction, their core roles and the management re-structuring of services were elicited.

Results

The proportion agreeing or strongly agreeing with each management option was 79% for integrated mental health–learning disability trusts, 61% for specialist learning disability trusts, 47% for care trusts, 10% for primary care trusts and 5% for social services. Only 34% felt consulted or able to influence the process of change and only 33% were satisfied with the current management changes within their trust but 67% were satisfied overall with their jobs.

Clinical Implications

Management from integrated mental health–learning disability trusts is the most preferred option for psychiatrists in learning disability. A large number of consultants, though otherwise satisfied with their jobs, feel excluded or unable to influence the current changes in management structures. A model of integrated service provision in line with the government's learning disability strategy is presented.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Alexander, R.T., Piachaud, J. & Singh, I. (2001) Two districts, two models: in-patient care in the psychiatry of learning disability. British Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 47, 105110.
Aspray, T. J., Francis, R. M., Tyrer, S. P., et al (1999) Patients with learning disability in the community. BMJ, 381, 476477.
Department of Health (1998) Signposts for Success in Commissioning and Providing Health Services for People with Learning Disabilities. London: HMSO.
Department of Health (1999) Modern Standards and Service Models. Mental Health National Service Framework. London: HMSO.
Department of Health (2000) NHS Plan: A Plan for Investment, a Plan for Reform. London: HMSO.
Department of Health (2001) Valuing People, a New Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century – A White Paper. London: HMSO.
Hassiotis, A., Barron, P. & O'HARA, H. (2000) Mental health services for people with learning disabilities. BMJ, 321, 583584.
O'Dwyer, J. M. (2000) Learning disability psychiatry – the future of services. Psychiatric Bulletin, 24, 247250.
O'Hara, J. (2000) Learning disability services: primary care or mental health trust? Psychiatric Bulletin, 24, 368369.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Psychiatry of learning disability – a future with mental health?

  • R. Alexander (a1), A. Regan (a2), S. Gangadharan and S. Bhaumik (a3)
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