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How psychiatric in-patient care for people with learning disabilities is transforming after Winterbourne View

Gyles Glover (Public Health England, Learning Disabilities Team, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, UK)
Ian Brown (Public Health England, Learning Disabilities Team, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, UK)
Chris Hatton (Public Health England, Learning Disabilities Team, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 2 July 2014

727

Abstract

Purpose

Two censuses, from 2010 and 2013, respectively, shed light on the trend in use of in-patient psychiatric care for people with learning disability or autism following the BBC documentary exposing abuse of patients at Winterbourne View. The purpose of this paper is to consider the implications of the detailed trends for future care for this group.

Design/methodology/approach

Published data from a recent (September 2013) census are compared with the re-analysis of a census undertaken by the Care Quality Commission in March 2010.

Findings

An overall 35 per cent reduction in numbers of in-patients is made up of larger falls in groups generally easier to discharge (older, female, in general as opposed to secure units). There is also substantial variation around the country.

Research limitations/implications

There are some uncertainties about the comparability of the two censuses and the question of how complete enumeration was of people with learning disabilities in general mental illness beds.

Originality/value

The paper raise the question of whether the beds that are reducing fastest may be those most likely to be of value to a high quality and sustainable service in the long term.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Alan Rosenbach of the Care Quality Commission for permission to consult the Count-Me-In census data and to Giovanna Polato of the Care Quality Commission for assistance in doing so.

Citation

Glover, G., Brown, I. and Hatton, C. (2014), "How psychiatric in-patient care for people with learning disabilities is transforming after Winterbourne View", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 146-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-04-2014-0009

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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