Strengthening the Commitment - The Interim Report of Scotland's National Implementation Group

The publication of Strengthening the Commitment: the report of the UK Modernising Learning Disability Nursing Review brought a welcome focus on learning disability nursing at UK and Scotland level. This interim report presents progress in Scotland. It provides an overview of successes, best practice and outlines the next steps in continuing our commitment to strengthening learning disability nursing and ensuring people with a learning disability receive the care they want, need and deserve.

Conclusion and next steps

In preparing this interim report, Scotland’s National Implementation Group has sought to demonstrate progress and highlight examples of how Strengthening the Commitment is making an impact. We recognise, however, that there is still much to do.

We need to make sure that learning disability nurses continue to add value and have impact and that their individual contribution remains valued within a multi professional and multi agency context.

Three years on from the report being published, Scotland has lived through a period of prolonged austerity and witnessed ever-increasing public expectations. The advent of social media and other technologies means that information moves rapidly between groups and individuals. The NHS is in the throes of reforms that will see health services delivered within integrated health and social care partnerships.

A new Code of Professional Conduct has just been published by the NMC and revalidation is on the horizon. The Inquiry reports from the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and the Vale of Leven Hospital tell us that the need to demonstrate professional and corporate accountability has never been greater.

Learning disability nursing in Scotland needs to build on Strengthening the Commitment and respond to the challenges of this new context. To take us forward into the next phase, in line with the continuing work programme across the UK, the National Implementation Group will focus on key themes that reflect the new context and fit with implementation of The Keys to Life and the Programme for Government themes:

  • building a fairer Scotland and tackling inequality (Fairer Scotland)
  • creating more, better paid jobs in a strong, sustainable economy (Prosperous Scotland)
  • passing power to people and communities (Participatory Scotland).

The Scottish Consortium for Learning Disabilities Reference Group will continue to be central to this work by identifying where people with learning disabilities can make important, valued, expert contributions to maximise their influence on Strengthening the Commitment’s implementation.

Key themes for Phase 2
StC theme Opportunities
The unique role and contribution of learning disability nurses 1. In what new and innovative ways can learning disability nurses build on work to further reduce health inequalities?

2. How should the learning disability nursing role develop in relation to working with children and young people?
Leadership in learning disability nursing 1. How will learning disability nurses influence governance, leadership and management discussions to ensure timely and effective advice on nursing?

2. What do non-nursing managers and others need to understand about learning disability nursing to ensure best quality and safety in service delivery?

3. How will learning disability nurse leaders set the tone for a culture of collaboration yet demonstrate a unique and valuable contribution in their own right?
Regulation, revalidation, workforce and the professional development of learning disability nursing 1. What are the implications of the new Code of Professional Conduct?

2. How will learning disability nurses respond to the opportunities and challenges of revalidation?
Quality improvement, impact and assessment 1. What are the priorities for improvement?

2. How do we find a common language of quality improvement within the context of health, Social Care and third sector?

From these the National Implementation Group will set out a framework of priority actions and associated milestones for 2015-18.


Email: Scott Taylor

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