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Research to practice and people with learning disabilities: better services (1971) to transforming care (2012) - 40 years on, are services any better?

Rossiter, Rowena Jane (2014) Research to practice and people with learning disabilities: better services (1971) to transforming care (2012) - 40 years on, are services any better? Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to present and critique practice and service development for people with learning disabilities across an extended time-period framed by two key events; the 1971 White Paper Better Services for the Mentally Handicapped and the BBC’s 2011 Panorama Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed which led to Transforming Care (DH, 2012). It does this through presentation of ten publications which demonstrate the application of psychology to the care of, and services for, people with learning disabilities in their policy and research context. A synthesis and critical analysis is developed and presented on the thesis ‘Research to practice and people with learning disabilities: Better Services (1971) to Transforming Care (2012) - 40 years on, are services any better?’. The thesis demonstrates a range of applications of psychology through a range of staff with a range of people with learning disabilities in a range of settings. It critiques the theory, practice, methodology and policy described in the publications through the lens in which they were developed. The critique is then expanded and updated through the lens of current theory, practice and policy. It considers the conceptual and methodological development of my research, and builds on and extends my research findings with broader evidence including social and organisational factors. The thesis demonstrates how the findings of the studies impact on practice and contribute to the evidence base. It also demonstrates how progress to implement research and policy in practice has been slow and identifies organisational and social factors in supporting, or acting as barriers to, high quality services. It links some of the issues identified to other current key care agendas such as the Francis Report (2013). Implications and recommendations are identified and include greater attention to organisational and social factors in achieving more effective research to practice.

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