Information for the public

NICE has written advice about services for people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges.


The advice is for staff and services who support children, young people and adults with a learning disability, and their families and carers.


We've produced an EasyRead version of our advice about services.

If you have a learning disability you may want to look at this with support from a family member, friend or carer.

View the EasyRead version about services

What does the advice say?

The advice is about:

  • helping you say what you want
  • making sure you get to choose where you live
  • having all your support close to home, even from specialist staff
  • giving your family support to care for you
  • helping you speak up if things are not right, and dealing with problems quickly
  • asking you how services could be better

This video also explains what NICE has said.

What is the advice for?

We want this advice to help staff and services work better together so that people get the right support.

Other advice from NICE

NICE has also written advice about giving good support to people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges.

It goes with this advice about services.

View the EasyRead version of our advice about good support

Improving services for you

NICE has also worked with experts to agree 12 things that services could do to make the most difference to people’s care. This is called a quality standard.

  • There is 1 person in charge of all local services for people with a learning disability, who knows what people need.
  • You have a detailed health check up every year.
  • You are asked about the things that might make you behave in a way that challenges in an assessment. This is so staff can understand you and help stop it happening.
  • You have 1 person that you can contact if you have questions or need help from different services.
  • Your family or carers help plan your support and know what to do if you have a crisis.
  • Parents or carers of children under 12 get special training.
  • You can do an activity every day that you enjoy.
  • You can get support close to home from specialist staff.
  • You have choice about where to live.
  • If staff need to restrict you (like holding you) to keep you safe they should write down what they do and talk about how to make things better for you.
  • You are only given medicine to help your behaviour if you have talking therapy too.
  • If you are taking medicine staff should check often if it is working and if you can stop taking it. 

In the news

Read NICE news about how this guideline will help.

Care for people with learning disabilities should be close to home wherever possible, says NICE

NICE is urging councils and health bodies to make sure that people with learning disabilities can access well-designed services and staff with the right skills so they do not need to move away for care or treatment.

Where can I find out more?

These people can give you more advice and support.

Their information is not written by NICE.

Who wrote this guideline?

NICE wrote this guideline with people who have a learning disability, their families and carers and staff who support them. All the decisions are based on the best research available.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2908-5

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