Incorporating the views of service users in the development of an integrated psychiatric service for people with learning disabilities

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During the 1990s, a decision was made within the Learning Disabilities services of Camden & Islington to develop a local integrated service for people requiring an acute psychiatric admission. There had been little research at the time on the experiences of people with learning disabilities within the type of inner London acute mental health service within which beds were to be located. In order to inform the development of the new service, we undertook to interview a number of service users with learning disabilities who had experienced acute admissions to general psychiatric wards during the previous three years. The information that was provided was then incorporated into the service's development process. Subsequently, a further round of interviews took place with people who had used the new service to determine whether experiences had changed and to identify areas for further service development and improvement.

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