Fewer Learning Disability nurses: What might this mean? | BLOG05


With Autumn just around the corner, this is traditionally a time of new beginnings as children go back to school and students either return to University or begin their studies.

Figures recently released by the Nursing Standard Journal and the Health Foundation shows that one in four students who began three year degrees that were due to finish in 2017 either left their courses early or put their studies on hold. This is worrying news for all nursing pathways but especially for learning disability nursing where it is known that there have been recruitment issues for some time. Although the September numbers for students beginning their learning disability courses have not yet been finalised we are aware that, across our region, some Universities have had to put this course on hold this year and others are expecting reduced numbers.

So what are we doing to support the field of LD nursing, and how are we trying to mitigate some of these risks? Nationally HEE is looking at the challenges and the opportunities for the RNLD workforce.  Amongst other things, HEE has recently intervened to facilitate a Trainee Nursing Associate Expansion for NHS providers of LD services, by providing an enhanced grant. Regional events have also been held, and there has been a task-force established to explore how the LD nursing workforce can continue to best equipped with the capacity and capability to support the needs of people with an intellectual disability.

Our programme has recognised that there also has to be a whole workforce approach in order to ensure that the ID workforce is sustainable and that  everyone’s knowledge, and skills required are developed appropriately. The vast majority of the workforce in the South (96%) are non regulated and also are employed outside of the NHS (98.6%) so we need to continue to work with all our stakeholders to help them work better with people who have an ID. This is illustrated very clearly in the pilot projects that we have been able to support, they include education and training interventions and evidence gathering.

We’ve worked with NHS Trusts, Universities, charities and private organisations as you can see from our reports and project pages.

The most recent project reports are from Southdown. Southdown was established in 1972 and is one of the largest not-for-profit specialist providers of care, support and housing services for vulnerable people in Sussex, including people with an ID. They support over 8,000 people a year and employ just under 1000 staff. Southdown undertook two workforce education and training pilots and the reports have just been published.

We are  proud of the work that Southdown has undertaken and that these projects have made such as positive impact on the lives of the people that the staff have been working with.

As we continue to grow as a regional programme we know that we will need to explore the role of the RNLD in relation to all the changes that are happening, and we have some ideas about how we might do this, although these have not been finalised yet. We will let you know when we have some details so that you can be become involved .



Don’t forget if you want to make contact with the programme here is a quick reminder of the current ways we are using to share and communicate the information on this blog:

We have a dedicated programme email account:

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We have a very active twitter feed just use the hash tag #SouthID when you want to share with us:

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We also share updates via our LinkedIn page, which you are welcome to follow:

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More recently, our stakeholder have setup an Instagram account to capture images from events the programme are involved with:

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So get in touch and tell us what you are doing and help us share your workforce work

rocket launch liftoff long exposure

SAVE THE DATE : 7th of November the LAUNCH of Greater London Learning Disability Community of Practice 🚀

Following a series of consultation events earlier on this year click link to see the event findings https://idhekss.wordpress.com/reports/id-hee-project-reports/#5  I am really pleased to tell you that Health Education England have been able to fund BILD, the British Institute of Learning Disabilities to help London to develop and sustain its own Learning Disability Community of Practice.

Link to 2018’s Kent, Surrey and Sussex LD CoP film from the day https://vimeo.com/277263727

The aim of the community is to provide a place for all that have a shared interest in the eradication of health inequality whoever they might be to share learning and knowledge with one another i.e. sharing what we have and reducing silo working for everyone

BILD have just posted a save the date I have put the details on our programme web blog https://idhekss.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/save-the-date-greater-london-learning-disability-community-of-practice-%F0%9F%9A%80/  and more details with regards to 1) the agenda and celebrity speakers 2) how to become involved 3) how to book a stand 4) how to apply to run a workshop and much more will all be shared via their website all details again are on the above link.

Please can you share this information with everyone i.e. all your networks, your colleagues, family members, friend, student, education colleagues, providers from every sector, people and their friends with lived experiences, the young and not so young, health & care workforce, every other workforce I really do mean anyone and everyone who wants to make a difference by learning and sharing.


If you want to become a programme, stakeholder and get weekly email updates click here and if you want to get in touch to tell us what you, think about this blog or any other related matters contact us at SouthID@hee.nhs.uk


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