The learning disability nurse delivers care and interventions for people with learning disability that promote, sustain and maintain biological, psychological and social well-being, from early years to end of life. People with learning disability can encounter a physical health problem just as much as any member of the general population. People with learning disability are, however, predisposed to a number of physical health problems. As the life expectancy of people with learning disability increases, so does the prevalence of co-morbidities associated with ageing. These are all situations and problems which require investigation, diagnosis, treatment and care within the general provision of primary and secondary care.
The RCN Northern Ireland Learning Disability Nursing Network has developed an information leaflet for nursing colleagues and the wider health and social care workforce. This explains the role, function and value base of learning disability nurses, describing their specialised and important skills. These are essential in the provision of holistic care, treatment and support for people with learning disability. They are especially important in understanding levels of cognitive awareness, methods of communication and issues around consent and capacity.
This leaflet will assist the nursing profession and wider health care workforce to understand how the learning disability nurse can contribute to and advise on the delivery of safe, effective and person-centred care for people with learning disability using the full range of health and social care services.