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Learning disabilities report published

An expected rise in the number of people with learning disabilities means the nursing workforce will need to adapt, according to a new report published yesterday.

The report says that people with learning disabilities should have access to the expert learning nursing and support they need, want and deserve.

The number of people with learning disabilities is expected to grow by 14 per cent between 2001 and 2021 as advances in science and care mean people with learning disabilities are living longer and more fulfilled lives.

And the review sets out a renewed focus for the four UK governments  to ensure there is an appropriately skilled workforce to cope with the increasing demand.

Minister for Public Health, Michael Matheson, today launched ‘Strengthening the Commitment’, the report of the UK Modernising Learning Disabilities Nursing Review.

The review was commissioned and led by the Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland on behalf of the chief nursing officers across the UK.

Launching the report, Mr Matheson said:

“Learning disabilities nursing has an essential part to play in our health and social care systems across the UK.

“Learning Disabilities Nurses have sometimes lacked the attention and recognition that other nursing specialties have attracted.

“Strengthening the Commitment sets out a blueprint for how Learning Disabilities Nurses can develop their skills and capacity to deliver the person-centred care that people with learning disabilities and their families and carers need, want and deserve.

“I look forward to implementing Strengthening the Commitment’s recommendations.  We want to encourage aspiring leaders in learning disabilities nursing and create a UK network to share best practice and continue with research.“

Commenting on the launch of the report, Chief Nursing Officer for Scotland Ros Moore added:

“Learning Disabilities Nurses have a long and proud history of providing care and support to people with learning disabilities and their families.

“But skills and knowledge are developing and must reflect the changing needs of people with learning disabilities, now and in the future.”

Each of the four UK countries will consider how  the recommendations from the review will be implemented, and will participate within a UK-wide Steering Group which is to be set up to support the programme of work.

It involved a four-country partnership approach and included wide stakeholder involvement. 

The report ‘Strengthening the Commitment’ aims to ensure that people with learning disabilities of all ages have access to expert Learning Disabilities Nurses and that their families and carers get the best support and care.

It also seeks to make best use of Learning Disabilities Nurses throughout the entire health and social care system and improve the image of learning disabilities nursing as a whole.

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