Strengthening the Commitment: Living the commitment

This report celebrates the achievements of learning disability nurses across the United

Kingdom and the difference they have made, and continue to make, to the lives and health

outcomes of people with learning disabilities

Fact file

These examples of innovative practice have been submitted to the UK Strengthening the Commitment Steering Group. The listing provides a brief description of the work together with email contacts to enable readers to follow up examples of particular interest.


Name/contact details

Case study title

Yvonne Courtney and Lynne Westwood

Rollout of Strengthening the Commitment to stakeholders

To plan and host a conference involving service users, their carers and supporters, pre-registration learning disability student nurses from two universities (Keele and Wolverhampton) qualified and unqualified nursing staff from SSSFT and neighbouring Trusts. This involved approximately 150 delegates.To work collaboratively with key stakeholders who don't normally work together.

Sally Powell

Developing a mainstream parenting course for parents of children with LD

Adapting a parenting course based on Webster Stratton and running it. Results showed that parents felt more confident in managing their child's behavior and the child's behavior had improved as have communication skills between parent and child. Involves learning disability nurses, CAMHS services.

Elaine Thomas

Implementing the Moulster Griffiths Nursing Model

Implementing a new model of nursing care using high quality documentation to support high quality care delivery. The model enabled a means of measuring the success of care delivered through the health equality framework.

Karen Breese and Yvonne Courtney

Impact of nursing leadership in enabling effective collaborative working

Shows effective leadership from two nurses who lead the Clinical Effectiveness Group. The group has developed an overarching physical health care pathway, revised the epilepsy pathway, held education forums, and increased confidence in service user involvement among other things.

Jim Blair

Better care - healthier lives

Eight key principles form the foundation of the work at Great Ormond Street Hospital for people with learning disabilities. Among other initiatives, a protocol has been developed for the preparation and recovery for people with learning disabilities and the hospital passport records the individual patient's likes and dislikes.

Glenn Batey and Declan Munnelly

Internet Risk Awareness Group for people with learning disabilities

The aim of the Internet Risk Awareness Group (i-RAG) is to support people with learning disabilities to use the internet in a safe and inclusive manner. i-RAG is the first specific psychoeducational intervention for people with learning disabilities to raise awareness of the risks of using the internet.

Northern Ireland

Gordon Moore

Implementation of GAIN Guidelines

The GAIN guidelines identify 12 specific areas as the most pressing areas of need for people with a learning disability who use general hospital settings.

Molly Kane

Health facilitation for people with learning disability in Northern Ireland

The development of health facilitation as a commissioned and accepted model of improving the health of people with a learning disability in Northern Ireland has relevance across the four themes of Strengthening the Commitment.

Sarah Boyd

Learning disabilities pre-registration programme

Student perspective on how the programme strengthens the quality of individual practice and raises the profile of the learning disability profession.

Lisa Hanna-Trainor

Looking at retirement options for adults with intellectual disabilities

A focus on the service user supports that need to be in place to ensure an effective transition form adult services to those geared to meet the needs and preferences of older people with learning disabilities.

Maria Truesdale

Adults with learning disabilities and diabetes

Developing a structured diabetes education programme for people with learning disabilities and their carers and assessing potential gains from such a programme.

Edna O'Neill

A joint epilepsy clinic

The clinic enables individuals to receive specialist care locally, in a person centred way with additional time for each clinic appointment. The epilepsy nurse can follow people up in the community in partnership with the learning disability psychiatrist and GP.


Gary Docherty

The Danshell Skype family contact project

Provides a tangible communication link between service users with learning disabilities and their family/carer. The use of technology (Skype) to enable this process of interactions, ensuring we continue to support families to keep in touch with their relative and opportunities to participate in meetings such as CPA and to contribute to assessment and care planning processes.

This project enhances relationships between the company and the families and between the families and the service users.

Jonathan Gray / Allison Ramsay

Scottish Senior Learning Disability Nurses Group
The SLDSNG has provided consistency and momentum in the implementation of Strengthening the Commitment recommendations across Scotland. The group has focused on improving the profession to ensure that learning disability nurses have the right skills and knowledge to deliver a high standard of care and support to patients and their families.

Heather Duff

Managed Care Network HEF Project

The implementation of the HEF across the four health board areas of the Learning Disability Managed Care Network (LDMCN), South East Scotland. The focus initially will be for community learning disability nursing staff and multidisciplinary staff from Borders health and social care. The second phase of the project may include specialist nurses, inpatient service staff and other community learning disability multidisciplinary health and social care staff who work with people who have a learning disability.

June Knight

Develop the role of nurse practitioner for people with learning disabilities with a comorbid mental health diagnosis or a suspected underlying mental health condition

To provide evidenced based, participative and recovery focused treatment programmes.

To include: non-medical prescribing provision. Development and provision of appropriate psychosocial interventions.

To support development and implementation of service mental health care pathway.

To participate in research and contribute to development of mental health provision for people with a learning disability.

Christina Bickers

Programme for support workers supporting people with learning disabilities

A training needs analysis was sent out to all healthcare support workers supporting people with NHS Lothian learning disability services. The data informed the type of training to be delivered. This included topics such as communication, higher health needs of people with a learning disability, values/attitudes, etc. The training was delivered over two days and was facilitated by practitioners from across NHS Lothian consisting of AHPs and nursing staff. The training was interactive and support workers were encouraged to participate and share their experiences/knowledge.

Marion Gilchrist, Nicholas Jenkins, Steve Wright, Jan Thomson, and Gareth Davison

Getting involved, being involved: shaping a community focused response to Strengthening the Commitment

Learning disability nursing leaders within NHS Ayrshire and Arran recognised a need to create opportunities for local communities to become involved in interpreting the vision and recommendations from Strengthening the Commitment, in terms of what was relevant for them. Doing so will help to align the work of the local implementation group with the priorities of those accessing services.


Victoria Jones

Improving quality through collaboration with experts: infiltrating the system!

The Teaching and Research Advisory Committee (TRAC) meets monthly at the University of South Wales. Its members are from the third sector across South Wales. It is facilitated by a learning disability nurse lecturer. It is an advisory group to the Research Unit for Development in Intellectual Disabilities (UDID). We aim to advise UDID on all aspects of teaching and research from our perspective as experts by experience.

Elizabeth Prichard

The use of an accessible health goals plan

A case study of working with an individual to assess their capacity and understand their needs resulting in a shared plan of support. The learning disability nurse used pictorial support to develop a person centred approach which concentrates on the individual's needs.

Nichaela Jones and Sue Jones and

The development of nurse led clinics for short term interventions on specific healthcare needs

The description of the implementation of nurse clinics, led by learning disability nurses focusing on specific issues and problems. The example used to illustrate that service is a sexual health intervention but the clinic deals with a range of issues and provides advice and support on these. These include sleep problems, healthy living, continence and routine health assessments.

Georgina Hobson

Development of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) as an approach for people who have emotional regulation difficulties in addition to learning disabilities

Nurses are taught to use and apply DBT in group and individual sessions to support people who have additional emotional difficulties.

Tracey Lloyd

Check for change. Development of educational workshops for people with learning disabilities to increase their awareness regarding cancer

A Macmillan initiative across Wales encompassing all things related to cancer and learning disabilities. Aims include improving awareness, encouraging screening and early health intervention/diagnosis, supporting all involved, developing existing knowledge.

Rachel Morgan

Implementing reasonable adjustments to enhance care for people with learning disabilities within acute healthcare settings

As part of the newly developed hospital liaison role within Aneurin Bevan Health Board work has been undertaken within acute hospital settings to enhance access for people with learning disabilities. This has included implementing reasonable adjustments in relation to timings of procedures, environmental adaptations, staff education and support in relation to capacity and consent.


Email: Scott Taylor

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