People with learning disabilities need extra services but get access to less

  • NHS Confederation study shows that people with learning disabilities or autism struggle to access mental health services.

    A study by the Mental Health Network of the NHS Confederation has found that people with learning disabilities or autism struggle to access the services they need, despite having more mental health needs than average person.

    The research found instances of where some local mental health services improved equal access, but found that this is not common practice and there are areas where service users reported insufficient adjustments had been made.

    The briefing launched from this study, Equally accessible?, calls on providers and commissioners of mental health services to look at this problem and suggests:

    • health checks at GP surgeries include a mental health assessment as a matter of routine
    • appointment times and duration, and the format of inpatient services, be adjusted to better suit the needs of people with autism or a learning disability, including how they cope in unfamiliar environments
    • information about mental health services be made available in a variety of accessible formats, including large print, and easy read.

    Paddy Cooney, Interim director of the Mental Health Network, said:

    The law is already perfectly clear on this. Public sector bodies are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to make sure their services are as accessible and effective for people with any protected characteristic, including learning disabilities or autism.

    But our researchers found that while there are some excellent examples of where mental health services are helping people with a learning disability or autism, these are not yet common across England.

    It is the 21st century and with today's technology, we can share information and good practice in a split second. What we must do is make sure that the best practice, which currently exists in pockets of England,  becomes standard across the country.

    No matter where a person with autism or a learning disability lives - whether it's Cornwall or Cumbria - they need to know they are guaranteed the same level of access to mental health services as everyone else in their community.



Related articles

  • Read More

    People in Bedfordshire can find mental health support through an audio guide

    The guides have been written by clinical psychologists and are available to download in print or listen to as an audio file, reports Bedfordshire News.Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director with BCCG and...

  • Read More

    Police officers in Dorset to receive mental health training

    The partnership with the University comes as part of the county’s Mental Health Street Triage Project. It is hoped to equip officers with improved knowledge and skills to assess members of the...

  • Read More

    People in Peterborough can refer themselves for mental health services

    Through a drive to offer support to more people and ease pressure on doctors, people living in Peterborough can self-refer themselves to mental health services, reports Peterborough Today.Dr Adrian...

  • Read More

    The first mental health centre for men

    The site has been set up by Alex Eaton, whose dad took his own life and has suffered with mental health problems himself, in Burton upon Trent, reports BBC Newsbeat.Mr Eaton said: "We are the only...

  • Read More

    NHS trust told no mental health beds available

    Dr Bohdan Solomka has said that on Sunday a lack of beds were applied across the NHS and among private providers, reports the BBC. The director of the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trusts...

  • Read More

    Over 16,000 mental health referrals for young people have been rejected

    Between July last year and June this year, data from the NHS has found that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services rejected 5,396 referrals, reports STV News.Over the last three years 16,565...

  • Read More

    New mental health centre to open in Ardwick

    Plans to build a new £6m treatment and recovery centre in Manchester have been revealed. It will be built in Ardwick and be run by Alternative Futures Group, reports the Manchester Evening...

  • Read More

    Research finds more chance of re-offending if mental health issues are present

    Research has found that ex-prisoners with mental health problems and drug and alcohol misuse are more likely to commit violent offences after release than other former prisoners, reports the...

  • Read More

    Drop in the number of people with mental health issues held in cells

    Recent figures have found that the Crisis Care Concordat has seen over 10,000 people receive care from mental health nurses with the support from police officers, reports the Burton Mail.Figures have...

  • Read More

    Mental health social work scheme accepting applications

    100 places are now available for applicants who have a 2:1 or above undergraduate degree and can demonstrate attributes such as resilience and empathy, reports Community Care.The Think Ahead...

Briefing Signup