Intended for healthcare professionals


Mental health services for people with learning disabilities

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 03 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:301

People with comorbidity can fall between two stools

  1. Gillian Doody, clinical senior lecturer in general psychiatry (
  1. University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG3 6AA
  2. Wolfson Centre, London WC1N 2AP

    EDITOR—Hassiotis et al highlight many difficulties in providing services for people with mild learning disability and mental illness.1 Many such people fall between the two proverbial stools of general adult psychiatry and learning disabilities psychiatry. This is particularly so for people with mild learning disability and schizophrenia.

    Individuals with mild learning disability are three times more likely than the general population to develop schizophrenia.2 Inpatient psychiatric care is required in many cases. Individuals unknown to a psychiatric service at the point of a first psychotic episode are, in the climate of closure of hospitals for people with learning disability, increasingly likely to be admitted to a general adult psychiatric ward. The effective management of a …

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