Equally accessible? Making mental health services more accessible for learning disabled or autistic people

Equally accessible? Making mental health services more accessible for learning disabled or autistic peoplePeople with learning disabilities or autism deserve equal access to mental health services and good treatment, but they currently receive variable treatment across England. The law requires that mental health services make reasonable adjustments to services and facilities, so that people with autism or learning disabilities can use them and do not face discrimination.

This briefing published by the NHS Confederation summarises a study, commissioned by the Mental Health Network and funded by the Department of Health, that highlights some of the innovations made in local mental health services in England.

Download Equally accessible? Making mental health services more accessible for learning disabled or autistic people

Key points

  • Providers can put in place many reasonable adjustments to make it easier for learning disabled or autistic people to use and access services.
  • Health checks at the GP surgery should include mental health state, and adjustments should be made to appointments, including timing and duration.
  • Information about medication should be provided in accessible formats, and referral to inpatient services should take account of how autistic or learning disabled people cope in unfamiliar environments.
  • Commissioners and local authorities need to work with health and wellbeing boards to plan integrated services that meet the needs of those with autism or learning disabilities.

See also

Reasonably Adjusted? Reasonably Adjusted? Mental health services and support for people with autism and people with learning disabilities

This report authored by the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) shows how to clarify and embed into practice reasonable adjustments for people with autism and people with learning disabilities in mainstream mental health services. Read more »