Tom is a clinical psychologist who works in a specialist learning disability inpatient service and into a community team for people with learning disabilities. He works with people who have behaviour that challenges those that support them or have mental health problems requiring specialist health input. He is also involved in the running of a special school for children who have a diagnosis of autism, display challenging behaviour and have been excluded from other schools. His interests are helping people with ASD/autism to have a good quality of life; the use of mindfulness with people with learning disabilities or autism; social constructionist thinking about disability and using person centered approaches to reduce the need to for admission to and length of stay in assessment and treatment units.
Rachel Allan and Tom Crossland present the recent NICE guidance on mental health problems in people with learning disabilities, and comment on how useful these new recommendations are for people with learning disabilities and their care givers.
Poor communication between people with learning disabilities, their carers and health professionals has been cited as an element of the explanation of health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities.
In his debut blog, Tom Crossland looks at one study which used actors with learning disabilities as ‘standardised patients’ in the training of medical students in order to see if this might improve communication and diagnostic skills.