Better specialist community care to lower admissions

NICE has said that local authorities and NHS bodies should provide specialist community care for people with learning disabilities to help avoid admissions to psychiatric wards or residential homes.

There are approximately 1.2 million people with a learning disability in England, with roughly between 10-17 per cent of those have behaviour that challenges.

The guidance says that patients should only be admitted as a last resort after all other options have been considered, and, even then, they should be located as close as possible to their home. It also suggests that local authorities appoint a specialist lead commissioner to ensure that the right support is available for people and their families, such as an out-of-hours helpline.

Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE, said: “We know that services for people with learning disabilities, and their families, can be hugely difficult to navigate. Providing better and local support will ensure that someone who needs treatment doesn’t have to be away from home. Our advice, once final, will set out how services can deliver good care to meet their needs.”

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