There has been much debate about the most appropriate site for in‐patient psychiatric care for people with learning disabilities. The evidence base for service delivery for this group is very scant. Even less is known about the experiences of service users and their carers, as their voices have been largely absent from this debate among service providers and policy makers. This article summarises results from a study into the experiences of adults with learning disabilities who were admitted for in‐patient psychiatric care. Their carers' views were also investigated. Differences between generic and specialist provision are considered, and implications for service delivery are discussed. Generic services in particular would appear in need of considerable improvements if they are to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities in line with current policy guidelines. Recommendations for improvement include greater sensitivity of staff to the needs of this group, increased provision of accessible information about treatment options and medication, and more careful consideration of the need to involve regular carers during the admission.