People with learning disabilities have a different pattern of disease from the general population and high health needs that are frequently unidentified and unmet. Many require responses from general and specialist health services. A picture is emerging of some people with learning disabilities, often with complex care needs, moving from their home area on what is being termed, out-of-area placements, to receive specialist care. However, within the learning disability population, limited research has been undertaken and the impact on health services is unknown. Data were collected from health and social care providers to identify people with learning disabilities moving in and out of services across Scotland. Further data about the consequences and impact of out-of-area placements were gathered in one geographical area using focus group methodology. The results suggest that people with learning disabilities are moving in, out and across Scotland, often as a result of breakdown of local care arrangements or because of lack of specialist resources. Planning, service development and effective communication need to be in place to address the needs of this increasing and ageing population.
Bibliographical noteSchool: sch_nur
- health needs learning disabilities out-of-area placement policy and service planning