Promoting access to services: the development of a new screening tool
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Promoting access to services: the development of a new screening tool

Karen McKenzie Clinical Psychologist, University of Edinburgh Medical School
Donna Paxton Clinical Psychologist, Andrew Lang Unit NHS Borders

Karen McKenzie and Donna Paxton outline the development of a questionnaire. The aim was to offer services a relatively simple, non-threatening way of confirming whether a person has a learning disability. It could also potentially save valuable time for over-stretched learning disability practitioners

The term ‘learning disability’ is a social construct whose defining characteristics change in response to political and social influences. Service provision has also had to respond to these influences. Recently, services for people with a learning disability have faced two potentially conflicting factors: the first is the belief that service provision should be shaped by ‘need’ rather than strict adherence to criteria (Scottish Executive 2000). The second, more pragmatic viewpoint, reflects increasing pressure on learning disability services to use scarce resources in the most efficient manner. The former stance leads to a broadening of criteria for accessing services, while the latter tends to lead to a greater adherence to learning disability criteria.

Learning Disability Practice. 9, 6,17-21. doi: 10.7748/ldp2006.

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