This paper explores access to palliative care services by people with learning disabilities. It is based on a study of specialist palliative care professionals in London, involving 32 semi‐structured interviews and 543 postal questionnaires. We focus on one aspect of the findings, related to the current use of specialist palliative care services by people with learning disabilities. The results indicate that such services are under‐used by this group. We discuss possible reasons for low referral rates, including late diagnosis and lack of understanding among both learning disability services and palliative care services about each other's roles. We highlight the importance of collaboration, and the need for further staff training.
Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2008
Keywords: Learning disabilities; Palliative care; Access to health care; Equity of services; Survey