Standards launched to strengthen community nursing for learning disabilities


A set of voluntary standards to help support and encourage the training and practice of nurses with learning disabilities across the UK have been launched by leading nursing charities.

The new document comes amid growing political emphasis on improving care for people with learning disabilities, but with few specialized training courses offered and varied services.

“I would like to highlight the fantastic commitment, commitment and shared passion of community nurses with learning disabilities”

Angie hack

The Queen’s Nursing Institute and Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland released the standards this week, noting that there are around 1.5 million people living with a learning disability in the UK.

They said they wanted to “articulate the specific elements” of the practice shown by those who took a Community Learning Disabilities (CQS) Nurse Specialist qualification course.

Both organizations hope that in this way the new standards will support the training and practice of nurses with community learning disabilities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

They noted that policy documents such as the NHS Long Term Plan set out ambitions to tackle health inequalities, unmet needs and to ensure that people with learning disabilities receive better support.

In this national policy context, the role of the practitioner community learning disability nurse has assumed major and growing importance, the institutes said.

However, they said that currently only four universities offer the Community Learning Disability Nurses program in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a small number of students.

Meanwhile, they warned that there are currently no higher education institutions offering the SPQ Learning Disability Community Nurse in Scotland.

The institutes pointed out that their voluntary standards were different from professional regulatory standards such as those established by the Council of Nurses and Midwives.

All community-based nursing learning disability programs leading to a recordable PQS must meet the current NMC standards for specialized training and practice, which dates back to 2001.

The regulator is currently revising its post-registration SPQ standards, and QNI and QNIS have said they expect their work on the project “will inform the NMC’s review process.”

Meanwhile, in addition to education, they said they hoped the voluntary standards would help promote consistency and a benchmark for best practices for service providers.

“The most compelling observation throughout this project has been the consistency of cohesion, passion and compassion”

QNI / QNIS standards

Those who wrote the standards noted that the complexities of community-based learning disability nursing were “apparent in the sense that no two services are the same in terms of employer and caregiving context.” .

For example, they observed “variability in the management of nursing services, some falling within the domain of social services rather than health services, resulting in professional and support implications for these independent practitioners”.

However, they said they said their commitment to services had “emphasized a true collaborative approach and an increased focus on person-centered care.”

“All of the teams demonstrated full commitment to co-production, supporting early intervention, avoiding hospital admissions, promoting early discharge and ensuring support in the best interest for individuals, caregivers and families at home or in their alternative community setting, ”they said.

They added, “The most compelling observation throughout this project has been the consistency of cohesion, passion and compassion demonstrated by all staff involved in providing care and support, from first contact. at the end of life, for people with a learning disability and / or autism. “

Angie Hack, deputy director of nursing programs at QNI, coordinated the development of the new standards.

“The standards reflect the current practice of the learning disability nurse practitioner in the modern community, including the specific skills for this specialized practice area,” she said.

She added: “To develop the standards, it was essential to gain insight into the challenges and experiences of nurses with learning disabilities working in the community setting today.

“I would like to highlight the fantastic commitment, commitment and shared passion of community nurses with learning disabilities across the UK who together promote best practice,” she said.

Over the past six years, QNI and QNIS have already published similar standards for district nurses, senior general practice nurses, children’s community nurses, entry-level generalist nurses and entry-level nurses in nursing care. home nurses.

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