RCN President Anne Marie Rafferty opening the RCN East Midlands LD100 celebrations
One of a number of events being held across the country, the RCN East Midlands region joined with Health Education England to deliver an inspiring afternoon of presentations, discussions and networking in Leicester.
Co-chaired by Andrea Childe, RCN East Midlands Professional Lead (Learning & Development) and Paul Blake, LD Project Worker at Northampton General Hospital, the event was kicked off by RCN President Anne Marie Rafferty, who talked about the lack of parity of esteem for people with learning disability, and the growing shortage of staff to support patients with learning disabilities.
Attendees heard more from co-chair Paul Blake, who not only uses his experiences of having a learning disability to help Northampton General Hospital improve the experience for other LD patients, but also works with LD nurse Debbie Wigley to deliver LD training to all Northampton General staff.
Presentations from Jonathan Beebee, an LD nurse who is a member of the RCN’s Learning Disability Nursing Forum, gave attendees an insight into the forum’s work preserving and promoting the role of LD nursing, as well as a whistlestop tour of the key developments in LD nursing over the past 100 years.
Jackie Brocklehurst, Regional Associate Clinical Lead for Health Education England (Midlands and East) discussed the importance of recruiting and retaining nurses for the future, while the Royal Mencap Society’s Debbie Aunger talked about the importance of embedding implicit attitudes in learning disability education and training.
Further sessions were delivered by Marie Hooper, Senior Nurse – Learning Disabilities at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Annie Norman, the RCN’s Professional Lead for Criminal Justice and Learning Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities Primary Care Liaison Nurse Sam Robinson and MHA/MCA Lead Mike Sergeant, both from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.