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People with intellectual disabilities hospitalised by courts in England

Gyles Glover (Consultant in Public Health, Learning Disabilities Team, Public Health England, Cambridge, UK.)
Ian Brown (Trainee in Public Health, Learning Disabilities Team, Public Health England, Cambridge, UK.)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Article publication date: 5 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the characteristics of individuals with intellectual disability in psychiatric hospitals in England who have been referred from the courts following charge or conviction for imprisonable offences.

Design/methodology/approach

Further analysis of data from the national census of psychiatric inpatients with intellectual disability or autism.

Findings

In total, 31 per cent of psychiatric inpatients with intellectual disability or autism were detained on a court order. In comparison to others they were older but fewer appeared to have severe disabilities. Fewer were hospitalised for mental illness or challenging behaviour, more for personality disorder. Rates in relation to numbers with intellectual disability in the population varied widely between regions of the country.

Research limitations/implications

The census was weak on exploring the nature of the risk posed by patients. As with all censuses it is always possible that the day chosen was unusual. Groups of patients characterised by longer stays inevitably appear more prominent.

Practical implications

Staff with expertise in the forensic mental health skills of risk assessment and management in the context of intellectual disability will be needed to resettle these patients satisfactorily.

Originality/value

The study draws attention to wide variations around the country in rates of use of hospital beds. This applies as much to detention under court orders, including restriction orders, as to informal admission, raising questions about the consistency of court judgements around the country.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The data used in this analysis are Copyright © 2013, Re-used with the permission of The Health and Social Care Information Centre. All rights reserved.

Citation

Glover, G. and Brown, I. (2015), "People with intellectual disabilities hospitalised by courts in England", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 41-47. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-10-2014-0034

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited