This study describes the evaluation of an assessment and treatment unit for people withlearning disabilities. Results showed the main reasons for admission for the 48 peopleadmitted to the unit were because of challenging behaviours and mental health problems.Valid and reliable scales were used to measure the behaviours and mental health problemsof those admitted across three-time periods: pre-admission, during admission and postadmission.The analysis found significant reductions in challenging behaviours and mentalhealth problems following admission to the unit. The unit was staffed by a multidisciplinaryteam with nurses making up the largest group of staff. A number of issues of concern arediscussed including access to mental health services for people with learning disabilities, theneed for robust community services and areas that require further research. In conclusion,the study found evidence supporting the value of the unit and how it may lessen distress inlearning disabled people who are behaviourally disturbed. It is suggested that nurses playeda key role in the unit but they need to make the support and caring they provide morevisible. Nurses need to harness and make explicit the caring they provide for people withlearning disabilities.
- learning disabilities
- mental health