Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental healthcare and services: Results of a UK survey of front-line staff working with people with intellectual disability and/or autism

Rory Sheehan*, Christian Dalton-Locke, Afia Ali, Norha Vera San Juan, Vaso Totsika, Angela Hassiotis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims and method Mental health services have changed the way they operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. We investigated the challenges and innovations reported by staff working in services for people with intellectual disability and/or autism in National Health Service (NHS) and non-NHS sectors, and in in-patient and community settings. Results Data were drawn from 648 staff who participated in a UK-wide online survey. Issues around infection risk and mitigation were more important to those working in the NHS and in-patient settings. Community staff were more likely to express concern about the practicalities of a rapid shift to remote working and engaging patients remotely. Qualitative data revealed support for maintaining remote staff working and remote service provision post-pandemic. Clinical implications Given the current emphasis on community support for people with intellectual disability and/or autism, the focus of research and clinical practice should be the development of accessible and effective models of remote service provision.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBJPsych Bulletin
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • autism
  • coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • intellectual disability
  • mental health services

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