People with learning disabilities in ‘out-of-area’ residential placements: 1. Policy context

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BackgroundA growing shortage of residential care for people with learning disabilities leads to placement funded by one authority in another authority's area. Such out-of-area placements are governed by guidance from different government departments in respect of different funding streams.MethodThis paper presents an analysis of this guidance and shows that it is inconsistent and incomplete.Results and ConclusionThe guidance creates a framework of incentives for health and social services authorities that could lead to people being placed out-of-area against their own best interests, with negative consequences for them and for the ‘receiving’ authorities. A companion paper uses interview data to examine the reasons for and effects of out-of-area placement.

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