In the past people with learning disabilities often spent long periods of time as hospital inpatients. This is no longer considered to be acceptable and the current UK policy is for long-stay hospitals for people with learning disabilities to be reduced in size and, eventually, closed. However, there is still a need for people with learning disabilities to receive assessment and treatments that may still involve a period of admission to a specialist facility. A study of such a facility by researchers in Northern Ireland found that the main reasons for admission were challenging behaviour and mental-health problems. The study found that there were significant reductions in these problems following admission to the unit, which was staffed by a multidisciplinary team, mostly made up of nurses.
Slevin, E. ... [et al] - People with learning disabilities admitted to an assessment and treatment unit: impact on challenging behaviours and mental health problems Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing September 2008, 15(7), 537-546