Examining the difference in how residential facilities support people with intellectual disabilities with challenging behaviour and/or mental health problems live in the community

Prof Owen Barr, Dr Elizabeth Gallagher, Dr Laurence Taggart, Prof Siobhan O’Neill and Prof Angela Hassiotis (University College Limerick), Mr Paul Webb (Praxis)

Over the last 30 years’ services for people with learning disabilities in NI have been transformed with community services. The ‘Equal Live’ Report (2005) and Learning Disability Service Framework document (2012) strongly emphasise supporting people with learning disabilities to be supported in the community. Although, this has generally been quite successful, the development of community living has not been without its challenges as some people can present with challenging behaviours and/or mental health problems. The present study was a 3-year project funded by the HSC R&D Division. It was carried out with the aim to investigate potential differences between two groupings of residential facilities for people with learning disabilities and/or challenging behaviours, one of which has experienced higher rates of hospital admissions, and one of which has successfully maintained people in the community. Staff from across the five HSCTs in NI participated by completing a number of standardised questionnaires and interviews, as well as family members and service users in both groups. Key findings highlight differences in terms of approaches of support, leadership and managerial structure across these two settings. The findings will be discussed and implications/recommendations for both policy and practice will be highlighted.

Date of seminar: 8 March 2017.

Policy Briefing