Developmental psychiatry - insights from learning disability*

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Abstract

Background

The Blake Marsh lecture, an annual lecture on learning disability, was endowed in 1963 in memory of Dr Blake Marsh, the former medical superintendent of Bromham House Colony in Bedford. The first lecture was given in 1967.

Aims

To review the speciality of the psychiatry of learning disability and how it is currently practised in the UK.

Method

Clinical, service, research and educational issues in learning disability psychiatry are reviewed and illustrated.

Results

Key issues which emerge in all four areas include the importance of communication skills, consultation with users and carers, professional education and partnership.

Conclusions

The psychiatry of learning disability is a complex, varied and stimulating branch of psychiatry with a strong developmental focus.

Declaration of interest

None.

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