Learning Disability Nursing workforce examples urgently needed for Compassion in Practice consultation

compassion in practice

Following concerns raised by recent investigations into the quality of healthcare of the national nursing strategy, ‘Compassion in Practice’ has set out a vision for nursing based on the 6 ‘C’s of Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment.

Action area 5 of the strategy is looking at ensuring right staff with the right skills are in the right place.

This is of particular concern as recent research from the Improving Health and Lives team has suggested that from 2008 to 2011 there had been a decline of 23% in the number of whole time equivalent learning disability nurses employed by the NHS.

Our friends at Jan-net have asked if we could let you know of a consultation that is currently happening, led by Dr Oliver Shanley from Hertfordshire who is leading some work looking at evidence based workforce planning for learning disabilities nursing .
The work will look at what constitutes safe staffing levels, initially from a nursing perspective and consider how to approach workforce planning and what ‘robust processes’ should involve.

Dr Shanley is hoping to gather examples from a Learning disability workforce perspective to ensure this area of practice is also represented.

If any of our readers have any examples, please can you send some details to paulinemilne@nhs.net as soon as possible – the original deadline was 10th July, but we only found out about this last week, so hopefully it’s not too late.

Compassion in Practice: Department of Health

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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