Risk Assessment in People with Learning Disabilities

Risk Assessment in People with Learning Disabilities

Risk Assessment in People with Learning Disabilities

Risk Assessment in People with Learning Disabilities

Synopsis

Risk Assessment in People with Learning Disabilities, Second Edition reflects legislative updates made over the past decade while continuing to demystify the process of assessing risk for people with intellectual impairment (previously called 'learning disabilities').
  • Revisits techniques of risk assessment outlined in First Edition in light of the recent legislative changes, most notably the 2005 Mental Capacity Act
  • Covers methods of assessing a person's capacity to consent in a range of situations, from the everyday, to complex medical or psychological scenarios
  • Covers implications of new guidelines issued in relation to the Care Programme Approach (CPA)

Excerpt

Since starting to write the first edition of this book, approximately 10 years ago, there have been a number of changes in the way government, at least in the United Kingdom, has promoted the care of people who suffer from intellectual impairment, or learning disabilities. (In writing this second edition), I have opted to use the former term rather than the latter, which tends to cause confusion. There has been increasing awareness of the needs and rights of those with intellectual impairment. As they have moved out of the long-stay hospitals and into the community, and become aware of what they have been missing, the more able members of this group have also become increasingly vocal and assertive in demanding that they deserve ‘a life like any other’.

The UK government’s White Paper ‘Valuing People’, published in 2001, was a major step forward in government policy, recommending a number of practical ways in which the lives of those with intellectual impairment might be improved. While it did have an impact, the overall rate of change in services has been slow, and remains slow. Some might dismiss it as an exercise in rhetoric, but at least it documented a set of ideals for services to aspire to, and it presented a number of challenges to existing services.

The acceptance and implementation of the Human Rights Act (1998) was another important step on this road, although it has taken a long time to filter through to services in practical ways. People with intellectual impairment are still too often seen and treated as second-class citizens. The majority of the community does not understand them, and are even a little frightened of them. This can lead to unbelievable acts of cruelty and neglect in what is supposed to be a caring society. In 2008, The House of Lords and House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights published their seventh report on the extent to which the Human Rights Act had improved life for those with intellectual impairment, and it makes depressing reading.

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