Sustaining the Commitment: update report

Updates and next steps from the 4 UK Chief Nursing Officers on the actions from the 2012 publication Strengthening the Commitment about learning disability nursing.

Challenges that still need to be addressed

It is now time to reflect on progress and consider the challenges that are still before us and in doing so reaffirm the important role that RNLDs have in supporting people with a learning disability and their families within the health and social care system.

We continue to face a number of challenges across the UK, including:

  • recruiting and retaining the right number of RNLDs
  • a need to build expertise across the health and social care systems to ensure reasonable adjustments are made and health needs identified and met
  • complexity of services that can result in difficulties in accessing and navigating services
  • some people with learning disability are remaining in hospital settings far longer than they should and are effectively living in an NHS bed and some people are receiving treatment a long way from home.

As a consequence, the support of RNLDs remains vital across the age range and in all settings. RNLDs play an important role in reducing the health inequalities that have all too often been experienced by people with learning disabilities. Going forward each country has their own programme of work through which the CNOs will continue to demonstrate their strong commitment to learning disability nursing. This document aims to act as a springboard to support the UK countries to continue to maintain the focus upon the needs of individuals with a learning disability and the importance of the role of the RNLD.



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