Declaration of interest All authors are employed by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. The opinions expressed are the authors' own and do not reflect the views of the Trust.
NHS England recently published a national plan to develop community services for people with intellectual disabilities and autism who display challenging behaviour by using resources from the closure of a large number of hospital beds. An ambitious timescale has been set to implement this plan. The bed closure programme is moving ahead rapidly, but there has been little progress in developing community services to support it. This paper discusses the impact of the gap between policy and practice on the care and safety of patients with intellectual disabilities and forensic needs who form a distinct subgroup of the target population and are being disproportionately affected by this government policy.
- © 2016 The Authors
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