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Leading nurse calls for united front to promote learning disability nursing

Queen's Nursing Institute clinical adviser sets out four pillars of practice for learning disability nurses
Jim Blair

Queen's Nursing Institute clinical adviser sets out four pillars of practice for learning disability nurses and calls for an alliance of nursing organisations

An alliance of leading nursing organisations should join forces to promote learning disability nursing as well as clinical change.

This is the view of Jim Blair, clinical adviser in learning disabilities with the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) and honorary professor at Kingston and St George's Universities in London, who was speaking at the fifth annual Learning Disability Nursing conference supported by Learning

Queen's Nursing Institute clinical adviser sets out four pillars of practice for learning disability nurses and calls for an alliance of nursing organisations

Jim Blair
Jim Blair, clinical adviser in learning disabilities with the Queen's Nursing Institute and honorary
​​​professor at Kingston and St George's Universities in London. Picture: Neil O'Connor

An alliance of leading nursing organisations should join forces to promote learning disability nursing as well as clinical change.

This is the view of Jim Blair, clinical adviser in learning disabilities with the Queen's Nursing Institute (QNI) and honorary professor at Kingston and St George's Universities in London, who was speaking at the fifth annual Learning Disability Nursing conference – supported by Learning Disability Practice.

Speaking in relation to the recruitment and retention crisis in learning disability nursing, he cited several recent damning reports and high profile failures of care in the sector, as well as discussing calls for the profession to collaborate on promoting change.


Watch: Jim Blair on raising the profile of learning disability nursing

 


Developing learning disability practice and underpinning clinical change

Mr Blair’s idea is that organisations, including the RCN, QNI and Foundation of Nursing Studies, should form a coalition to promote learning disability nursing.

He said: ‘We can build a coalition of organisations to develop learning disability practice and underpin clinical change.

‘There is fabulous work being done by learning disabilities in clinical practice in GP surgeries, and in hospitals, to save and enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities, and their families.

‘Together we can promote effective change; separately, we won’t.’

Four pillars of practice for learning disability nurses

Mr Blair also outlined four pillars of practice that he believes can improve care for people with learning disabilities:

  1. Reducing referral times from GPs to treatment.
  2. Ensuring that outpatients appointments occur and are successful for service users.
  3. Reducing lengths of stay in acute hospitals.
  4. Reducing readmission times post discharge.

Mr Blair said the conference, held in Manchester, was a great opportunity to showcase the work of learning disability nurses.

Nurses came from all over the UK for the event at which England’s chief nursing officer Ruth May and NHS England’s head of learning disability nursing David Harling spoke.

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