Toolkits and Supporting Documents

STANDARDS OF PRACTICE FOR PHYSIOTHERAPISTS working with adults with a learning disability

The toolkits and documents to support specialist learning disability physiotherapists implement the standards into practice. 


Definition of Specialist Learning Disability Physiotherapists: 

"Learning disability physiotherapists provide specialist assessment, treatment and management to adults with a learning disability whose needs cannot be successfully met by mainstream services, even when reasonable adjustments are made. Physiotherapists will work in collaboration with the person, their network of care, mainstream health services, and the multidisciplinary team to enhance, optimise and maintain the person’s physical presentation, function and quality of life."

The aim of the standards of practice are to improve and standardise the delivery, development and commissioning of specialist physiotherapy to adults with a learning disability across the UK.

To achieve this, physiotherapists working in community learning disability teams will need to implement the standards of practice into their local area. They will need to develop an understanding of the:

  • Demand and gaps in current services
  • Local population of adults with a learning disability
  • Availability and accessibility of relevant mainstream health and social care services

This information is critical to be able to target and prioritise resources appropriately; manage risk; and offer timely intervention within the limitations of services.

 Sarah Bruce, Lead Clinician Physiotherapist and David Standley, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist