New NICE guidelines on people with challenging behaviour

According to new draft NICE guidelines, people with challenging behaviour should only be treated in a mental health hospital or a residential setting as a last resort. The draft guidelines aim to bring recognition to the fact people with learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges are not receiving the care they deserve. The guideline committee have said this group often face unnecessarily long hospital stays or are admitted to hospitals tens of miles away from friends and family. The new guidelines aim to hopefully stop these admissions by providing better home care for those who often require more community support due to the side effects of their challenging behaviours.

According to NICE guidance, an estimated 1.2 million people have a learning disability in England, and 10-17 per cent of these behave in a way that challenges. As part of the new guidelines, the committee have introduced the assignment to each individual of a ‘named worker’ from the community learning disability team. Their role will be to make sure people can choose who and where they want to live. The intention for this move towards more coordinated care is to create a reduction in mental health admissions or stays in residential homes.

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