Improving service responses for people with learning disabilities who have been sexually assaulted : an audit of forensic services

Olsen, A ORCID:, Majeed- Ariss, R, Teniola, S and White, C 2017, 'Improving service responses for people with learning disabilities who have been sexually assaulted : an audit of forensic services' , British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 45 (4) , pp. 238-245.

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Background: People with learning disabilities are more likely to experience sexual abuse and less likely to access support than the general population, this is due to a range of variables at the individual, societal and service-delivery level. This paper presents a service evaluation of St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Manchester to explore its ability to provide meaningful support to people with learning disabilities and to identify ways to improve its responses.
Materials and Methods: The service evaluation had two components: (1) A staff survey to elicit self-perception of the knowledge and skills required to meaningfully support people with learning disabilities who attended the centre following an allegation of rape or sexual assault (2) An audit of patient notes to compare service delivered to patients with a learning disability to those without.
Results: Forty-two members of staff (over 75% response rate) completed the survey which found a lack of differentiation between learning disabilities and other types of neurodiversity. The majority of responders reported having enough knowledge about learning disabilities to do their job and feeling confident in their abilities. Nonetheless, all the staff reported that they would like more learning disability training. An audit of the patients’ notes found people with learning disabilities accessed fewer follow-up care services than people without learning disabilities.
Conclusions: The results identify areas for staff training to improve meaningful support for people with learning disabilities alongside a note of caution against a focus on labelling. By introducing more accessible support a diverse group of people can benefit.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal of Learning Disabilities
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 1354-4187
Related URLs:
Depositing User: AM Olsen
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2017 11:52
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 22:18

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