King's College London

Research portal

Template for action for patients with intellectual disabilities in mental health services

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Louise L Clark, Ian Merrick, Fiona O'Driscoll, Helen Lycett, Robert White, Anna White

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Issue number6
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

doi: 10.12968/bjmh.2017.6.6.279

King's Authors


There has been an increase in the number of people with learning disabilities admitted to mainstream mental health services, who are reported to be at greater risk of physical and mental health problems than the general population. Mental health professionals from all disciplines report minimal pre-registration education in this field. This study sought to develop a multidisciplinary competency tool for use in the care of this patient group. A review of the literature informed the topic guide for focus groups (n=2) with experienced mental health practitioners (n=19). Thematic analysis identified overarching and sub-themes, and a pilot of the tool was created in diagrammatic format. Expert interviews (n=18) were conducted to validate emergent overarching and sub-themes. The major themes that emerged were: positive behavioural support, risk and safety, management of mental illness and communication. Clinical competencies are increasingly generated to ensure accountability but they must also enhance the patient experience. Traditional presentation methods of competencies may render them utilitarian (via lists and Likert scales) and stifle clinical innovation. To facilitate competency development, a pictorial ?template for action: learning disabilities? was developed.

View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454