• The Health Foundation has funded a chair in learning disabilities from 2002 to 2017.
  • The award holder, Professor Tony Holland has established a successful multi-disciplinary research unit.
  • The core funding has contributed to a wide range of innovative research, training of doctoral students, and both academic and practice publications.

The multi-disciplinary team includes three senior psychiatrists; a sociologist; and a clinical and forensic psychologist. With a focus on learning disabilities, the research has ranged widely over different research themes led by members of the group.  

Studies have included:

  • The link between Alzheimer’s disease and Down’s syndrome
  • The link between Prader-Willi Syndrome and over-eating, behaviour problems and mental ill-health
  • Morbidity and the complexities of support needs when a person’s learning disability is associated with the need for assistance with eating and drinking
  • The barriers to access to health care experienced by people with learning disabilities
  • The relational dynamics between adults with learning disabilities, health care professionals and parents/carers
  • Learning disabilities and the legal system including the needs of people with learning disabilities who have offended
  • Diagnosis and treating epilepsy and evaluating the role of specialist epilepsy nurses
  • Investigating specialist community services for people with learning disabilities in the wake of the Winterbourne View scandal.

An additional £5.7 million in grants from other funders, including The Wellcome Trust, The Department of Health, NIHR, and the MRC has been obtained through the core funding from the The Health Foundation; and 161 peer reviewed articles published.

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