Learning Disabilities' Nursing Is All Changed; Last Year Saw the Launch of a UK-Wide Strategy Document Called Strengthening the Commitment, Which Aims to Further Develop and Promote Learning Disability Nursing. Health Correspondent Julia McWatt Looks at the Way This Area of Nursing Has Changed over the Years
Byline: Julia McWatt
THE need for specialist nurses to care and support those with learning disabilities has been much more recognised in recent years. past three decades, has seen a growing interest in people wanting to work in this area.
This has been well met with the introduction of specific training for the role. Those who are interested in becoming a learning disability nurse can undertake a specific course and gain admittance to the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) register on an equal basis with nurses in other fields of practice.
One of the things the Strengthening the Commitment document is trying to do is raise awareness about the role of the learning disability nurse.
It aims to ensure that people with learning disabilities of all ages will have access to the expert learning disabilities nurses. It also plans the training of nurses travel to meet current and future demand.
Today, learning-disability nurses work in a wide range of settings including assessment and treatment units, special schools, residential units, acute hospitals and prisons.
Others work in a community setting and visit people with learning disabilities and their families in their homes or other community locations.
Chris Griffiths, consultant nurse in ABMU Health Board and lecturer at the University of South Wales, which offers a learning disability nursing degree, said: "I am fortunate to have been in this career for the last 30 years. I started off working in one of the learning disability institutions and since then I have seen a huge change in the profession. We no longer have the long-stay hospitals and we have developed an infrastructure of community-based services. This has provided a better result for people as when services were being moved into the community it was then looked at how to improve them. …