Clinical and service guidelines for
supporting people with learning disabilities who are at risk of
receiving abusive or restrictive practices
This report is the result of a joint working
group of the learning disability faculties of the British
Psychological Society and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in
consultation with the Royal College of Speech and Language
Therapists. The main focus is on adults who are vulnerable to
restrictive interventions and abuse as a consequence of their
limited capacity to make choices for themselves about where they
live or work, and how they are supported.
This report concerns standards of clinical
practice in supporting people with learning disabilities who
present behavioural challenges. It unites the clinical theory and
practice of health professions that have specific models for the
assessment and management of challenging behaviour. The fundamental
unifying principle is to improve the quality of life for people
whose behaviour challenges others.
The report focuses primarily on adults with
moderate to severe learning disabilities, although the broad
principles outlined are applicable to children and adults of all
degrees of intellectual disability. People with learning
disabilities who present behavioural challenges are often
marginalised, stigmatised, disempowered and excluded from
This report has been produced with the
- To revise and develop the interpretation of the term
- To bring together relevant, available, evidence-based practice
with a consensus of clinical opinion and experience.
- To provide a unified framework for good practice in
multidisciplinary clinical and social interventions.
- To encourage the development of creative, flexible and
effective responses to individuals who present behavioural
- To provide guidance for service developers and
- To inform and empower service users and their carers.
- To provide a set of standards of good practice against which
service provision can be benchmarked and audited.
- To promote the development of comprehensive and effective local
services and to reduce the number of individuals who are failed by
the current service provision.
- To provide a framework for training of health and social care
professionals and paid support staff and carers.
- To guide future research and development.
The unifying principle is to improve the
quality of life of people whose behaviour challenges
services. It hopes to complement other publications and
guidance in this area and overall to further a reinvigorated and
unified approach to supporting people whose behaviour is
experienced as challenging. This requires a multidisciplinary
and multi-agency approach, and therefore the report has been
produced with the intention that it will be relevant and useful to
a wide range of health and social care professionals, family and
paid carers, service providers and commissioners.
It is intended to provoke action as much as to inform, and to
encourage local and national debate, analysis, review and