Specialist community teams for adults with learning disabilities: referrals to a countywide service in England

Clare, Isabel C H, Wade, Kelly, Ranke, Nadine, Whitson, Sarah, Lillywhite, Allison, Jones, Elizabeth, Broughton, SallyAnne, Wagner, Adam and Holland, Antony J (2019) Specialist community teams for adults with learning disabilities: referrals to a countywide service in England. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 24 (2). pp. 41-49. ISSN 1359-5474

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Abstract

Purpose – While “generic” community teams for adults with learning disabilities (CTs) are well-established in the UK, very little recent evidence is available about any aspect of their work. As part of a larger project about the role, structure and functioning of CTs, the purpose of this paper is to provide data about referrals. Design/methodology/approach – Over threemonths, the authors obtained data about 270 consecutive new referrals to five CTs in a countywide integrated health (NHS) and care management (local authority) service. Findings – The 270 referrals related to 255 individuals, mainly already service users, with almost a third (30 per cent, n=204) described as people with severe or profound disabilities. Consistent with the reported living arrangements (residential accommodation or with one or more family members (87 per cent, n=270)), referrals were most often made by social care staff, General Practitioners or carers. The referrals related to a wide range of issues including mental health and/or behavioural needs, physical health and skills, and independence. The major group, however, were requests about a person’s entitlement to specialist learning disability services and/or reviews of an existing social care package. Research limitations/implications – The focus on new referrals and the exclusion of intra-team referrals mean that the data are not representative of a CT’s caseload and cannot be used as a basis for resourcing. Nevertheless, the findings emphasise the heterogeneity of the population, and the long-term and varied nature of their needs, meaning that CTs require access to a range of expertise and, often, an inter-agency approach. The implications for service design are considered. Originality/value – This is the first empirical study of referrals to specialist integrated (health and care management) community learning disabilities teams in England.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: learning disabilities,health,intellectual disability,community learning disability teams,community services,care management
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 29 May 2019 10:30
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 07:53
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/71157
DOI: 10.1108/TLDR-05-2018-0015

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