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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

CR196. Dementia and people with learning disabilities

Price: £4.80

Approved: Jan 2015

Published: Apr 2015

Status: current

Number of pages: 149

Review by: 2020

This report can be read online on the BPS website (free of charge). 

Print copies are also available to buy from the BPS shop website.

Guidance on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support of people with learning disabilities who develop dementia. Co-published by The British Psychological Society and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The main purpose of the guidance is to enable those working in clinical and social care services to improve the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities who develop dementia, by providing guidance to inform assessment, diagnosis, interventions and support. The guidance is aimed at clinicians in intellectual disabilities and older peoples’ mental health services and services for younger people with dementia. The decision about which services provide which part of the care pathway is a local decision to be taken by commissioners and providers, but ensuring that all elements of this guidance are considered and in place for people with intellectual disabilities and dementia.

Since the original guidance was published there has been a far greater awareness about dementia in the general population and a proliferation of strategies and standards documents. However, dementia and people with intellectual disabilities has still received minimal focus. The current guidance has been updated using both the current research literature and the experience of senior clinicians working in the field. Some areas of the guidance have only needed minor changes, whilst others have had a more extensive rewrite, plus three completely new sections have been added.


This report replaces CR155 (of the same title) from year 2009.

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