Celebrating 100 years of Learning Disability Nursing

A local mental health trust that provides specialist learning disability services is marking an important milestone for learning disability nursing.

First introduced in 1919, there are now 3,500 learning disability nurses working across the country in their local communities, hospitals and in supported living accommodation, delivering care to people of all ages who have a learning disability and in some cases other mental health or physical health conditions too.

Learning disability nurses work closely with service users and the people in their life, such as partners, family members and carers, to create a care plan of support which recognises their health needs and enables them to live well with their disability.

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services for all ages across Sussex, and for children and young people in Hampshire.

Viki Baker, Clinical Director for Learning Disability and Neurodevelopmental services at Sussex Partnership, said: “Our learning disability nurses play a crucial and central role across our services for people with a learning disability.

“Our learning disability nurses champion the health needs and human rights of people with a learning disability advocating for equity in services and helping avoid preventable and premature deaths. They work in all areas of the Trust, in our specialist inpatient service the Selden Centre, working as acute liaison nurses in local hospitals, in our specialist child and adult community teams, and leading our domiciliary care service. They are essential to our services and work in partnership with the service user, their families and carers throughout their life when they need our involvement.

“Their specialist skills and person-centred approach gives the people we support the best possible care and we are so proud to have them in the service and celebrate their 100 year anniversary.”

Acosia Nyanin, Chief Nurse for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Learning Disabilities Nurses are incredible people who dedicate their career to supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our community. It is so important that we celebrate them and recognise the significant contribution that they make.

“The compassion and dedication of our Learning Disability Nurses helps the people who use our services to develop their life skills whilst preserving their independence. This is particularly significant because by helping our services users to stay connected to their community helps to support the maintenance of their physical and mental health which in the long run, will help them to stay well.” 

Monday 17 - Sunday 23 June 2019 is Learning Disabilities Week and the theme this year is ‘sport and inclusion’, which highlights the positive impact that sport and physical activity can make in helping to reduce the loneliness and isolation that a person with learning disabilities might experience. To find out more go to www.mencap.org.uk.

For more information about Learning Disability Nursing and the celebrations taking place across the country, go to www.rcn.org.uk.