Make your voice heard on proposals for mandatory learning disability and autism staff training

A consultation on mandatory training for health and care staff offers a chance to influence the health experience of generations of people with learning disabilities and autism

Picture: Neil O’Connor

The latest event in the celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of learning disability nursing in UK is the unveiling of a wall mosaic plaque at Keele University.

It is designed as a reminder of all the work that the field of practice can and does achieve, and is the result of a collaboration between students, staff, a ceramicist and service users.

There are many other centenary events being held throughout the country. Let’s hope they raise the profile of learning disability nursing, which as we know is going through a tough time.

Nursing shortages, issues with staff retention, universities shrinking or closing their learning disability programmes are just some of the issues. All of this comes at a time when the evidence shows how poor the outcomes for people with learning disabilities are compared with the rest of the population.

Reasonable adjustments

Following several well-publicised failures of care, there is a movement to train all healthcare professionals in understanding the needs of people with learning disabilities and autism. Hopefully this will cover things that are basic for learning disability nurses but not others, such as the need to make reasonable adjustments and understand diagnostic overshadowing.

There may be those who see this move as a threat to their field of practice and others who recognise that you cannot do it all. People with training and experience can influence what training others have.

In any case, such additional training cannot create a replacement for a full-fledged learning disability nurse.

A consultation on mandatory training for all health and care staff in learning disabilities and autism is being run by the Department of Health and Social Care in England and runs until 12 April. Click here to have your say and help to shape the future.


Centenary of learning disability nursing marked at Keele