Learning Disability Practice

Digital Edition Cover

Read the latest digital edition

Your environmentally-friendly digital edition comes with links to further resources and access to previous issues.

Read digital edition


Image of do not resuscitate hospital order review form

Government to tackle inappropriate ‘do not attempt CPR’ orders

Response prompted by 2019’s critical Learning Disabilities Mortality Review

Picture shows a woman hunched over her knees, looking sad. A human group complains of missed NHS targets on moving patients with learning disabilities and autism to community-based settings.

Legal threat on failure to move people with learning disabilities into the community

Rights group highlights missed NHS targets on Transforming Care

RCN members on a picket line in Belfast

Deal done: nurses vote to end dispute about pay and safe staffing

NHS staff in Northern Ireland secure promises on pay parity and nurse numbers

Fiona McQueen

Scotland’s ‘exemplary’ chief nurse to step down from role

Fellow healthcare leaders praise Fiona McQueen for her contribution to nursing

Florence Nightingale Barbie doll

Florence Nightingale Barbie doll unveiled in tribute to inspiring women

New model forms part of range celebrating women who have broken boundaries

Liverpool Community Health nurse director Helen Lockett

NMC asks its own regulator to review controversial FtP ruling

It had recommended nurse director Helen Lockett be struck off, but FtP panel was more lenient

Evidence and Practice

Helicobacter pylori: nurses’ perceptions of diagnosis and treatment in adults

Helicobacter pylori: nurses’ perceptions of diagnosis and treatment in adults

Why you should read this article • To understand how people with a learning disability may...

An alternative admission process for patients with an autism spectrum disorder and/or an intellectual disability

Alternative admission process for patients with an ASD and/or an intellectual disability

People’s experiences can be improved by ensuring a smooth transition to inpatient care

Using functional assessments to involve service users in their positive behaviour support plan

Functional assessments to involve service users in a positive behaviour support plan

Evaluating a functional assessment for people with an LD and behaviour that challenges

Supporting people with learning disabilities to have blood tests

Supporting people with learning disabilities to have blood tests

This article describes a group intervention that took place primarily in a healthcare setting

Role of a learning disability nursing network in developing students’ skills

Role of a learning disability nursing network in developing students’ skills

Why you should read this article • To enhance your awareness of how online networking can...

Development of training programme to manage behaviour

Some children and young people with a learning disability also present with behaviour that...


Picture shows a couple with learning disabilities smiling at the camera. Dating agencies for people with learning disabilities aim to help them find not only romance but also friendships that can reduce social isolation.

Dating agencies: a chance to find romance for people with learning disabilities

Learning disability nurses might be asked to help a service user looking for love and companionship to apply to a dating agency

PBS Festival 2019 encourages positive approach to behaviour that challenges

Event attracted practitioners and people with learning disabilities and their families

Forced marriage

Is your client at risk of forced marriage?

How nurses can help people with learning disabilities who are at risk of forced marriage


Personalised end of life care for people with learning disabilities is the gold standard

Irene Tuffrey-Wijne advocates service-user involvement in decisions that affect them

Alice Waddington, Emily Hesketh and Eve Kavanagh

Ensuring everyone has a voice: a communication tool for non-verbal patients

RCNi Nurse Awards student winners spread the word about their Makaton language resource

Learning disabilities team transforms hospital experience and culture of care

Team has reduced hospital stays and introduced 'champions' network and training


TROG, a test of language skills, aids communication with people who have a mild learning disability, helping to keep them engaged. Picture shows a TROG test in which a woman points at symbols on a board in response to questions.

Communication: one test that can keep people with mild learning disabilities engaged

A test of language skills has helped breakdown potential barriers for healthcare staff

Image show campaigner Paula McGowan speaking at a conference with an image of her son Oliver behind her

Compulsory learning disability training for all NHS staff is long overdue

Government announces £1.4 million scheme in England thanks to campaign by one brave mother

Planet Rachael: schools need training to support pupils on the autistic spectrum

Ignorance could damage our children, says Wendy Johnson


What to do when words fail

Communication problems are not uncommon when people with complex needs are admitted to hospital, and one nursing student is creating a toolkit that will include tips from specialists and signposting to additional support


Using positive reinforcement to manage violence and aggression

Reminding a service user with learning disabilities how much her behaviour had improved helped nursing student Bradley Squirrell successfully de-escalate a violent situation

meds killiard

A fresh take on medicines management for patients with a learning disability

Mental health nursing student Kirsty Killiard implemented a system for monitoring the use of ‘as required’ medication for patients on a forensic learning disability ward, earning her a place as a finalist in the RCNi Nurse Awards.


Lauren Johnston

How I make the emergency department less daunting for people with learning disabilities

Lauren Johnston describes her work in a pioneering nursing role

We saw first-hand how learning disability nurses helped our son

After witnessing their son’s care, a couple have decided to become learning disability nurses

Penelope Clark

‘Taking on a lone position has been a challenge. I love it’

Award-winning Penelope Clark moved her family 800 miles to take up a post as the only community liaison nurse for learning disabilities and autism on the remote Shetland Islands