The debate about the place of assessment and treatment beds for adults with learning disabilities continues. The Royal College of Psychiatrists recently published a paper as part of the response to the events at Winterbourne View which set out its view of the need for a range of in-patient services which included acute admission beds, both within specialised learning disability units and within generic mental health settings.
This paper reports an audit of the impact of a specific intervention in a unit offering brief admissions for adults with a learning disability, mental health difficulties and/or challenging behaviour.
What they did was to look a series of stand-alone groups which ran for nine weeks and offered sessions on relaxation and sensory and physical activities.
The audit looked at a range of possible outcomes: the extent to which interventions were perceived as helpful and enjoyable by clients and staff any positive effects on the mood of clients with learning disability the rating by clients of any particular activities as more favourable than others.
What they found was that all the individuals involved stated that they found the sessions useful and enjoyable. Staff offered positive feedback on their perceptions of the impact of the sessions, suggesting they were helpful for participants.
The authors conclude from their findings that the sessions helped individuals to improve their mood.
Audit of group-based activities in an inpatient assessment and treatment unit for individuals with learning disabilities, Reynolds, P & Field, L, in British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41: 273–279.