A significant number of people with autism require in-patient psychiatric care. Although the requirement to adequately meet the needs of people with autism in these settings is enshrined in UK law and supported by national guidelines, little information is available on current practice.
A recent research study has found that there is no systematic approach to supporting people with autism who are admitted to in-patient psychiatric units. Significant concerns are highlighted of lack of professional training and skill sets resulting in variable clinical practice and care delivery underpinned by policy deficiency. This could account for the reported in-patient outcomes of longer stay and segregation experienced by people with autism.
Reference: Jones K, Gangadharan S, Brigham P, Smith E, Shankar R. Current practice and adaptations being made for people with autism admitted to in-patient psychiatric services across the UK. BJPsych Open. 2021 May 14;7(3):e102. doi: 10.1192/bjo.2021.58. PMID: 33988120.
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