Successful transfers to out-of-area placements
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Successful transfers to out-of-area placements

Rohit Shankar Consultant neuropsychiatrist, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter Medical School
Glyn Jones Chair of the Welsh learning disability group, Royal College of Psychiatrists
John Devapriam National professional adviser for intellectual disabilities, Care Quality Commission
Ashok Roy Chair of the intellectual disability faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists

Rohit Shankar and colleagues describe how an evidence-based interagency tool can help to keep vulnerable people safe

The Winterbourne View inquiry highlighted issues about people with learning disabilities who are placed in hospitals. Although most people with learning disabilities are in residential care, they remain at risk of the abuses seen at Winterbourne View. The housing costs in certain areas and non-person centred commissioning has led to many vulnerable people being placed in facilities far away from their communities.

Aim To devise a structured, evidence-based tool to facilitate the safe transfer of vulnerable people with learning disabilities between agencies across the UK.

Methods A literature review was conducted to determine the need for the tool. A focus group of experts identified relevant good practice to develop the checklist. The draft document was considered by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ intellectual disabilities faculty executive and the Learning Disability Professional Senate.

Findings When piloted on new transfers, the checklist identified existing gaps in service provision. The placing authorities found the tool useful to reflect on the expectations of the receiving services, and it was deemed to be an example of good practice that needed to be shared across services.

Conclusion The use of out of area placements continues without proper consideration of good practice.The interagency transfer document described in this article ensures basic standards of care can be met.

Learning Disability Practice. 19, 1, 18-22. doi: 10.7748/ldp.19.1.18.s20


Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 13 November 2015

Accepted: 26 November 2015

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