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.


Strengthening the Commitment and Living the Commitment has provided the four countries with a framework to raise the profile of learning disability nursing and to shape learning disability nurse practice. The development of networks and connections across the four countries has ensured that the voice of learning disability nursing is heard and the value and impact of the profession is recognised. A great strength has been the work that the profession has done in working with people and their families and this is a partnership that we endorse as each country progresses forwards with their plans to continue to strive for excellence.

It is an exciting time for learning disability nursing, there is a strong social movement promoting the profession and national groups advocating and leading discussions on the future role of learning disability nursing. This has led to increased employment opportunities across a greater variety of settings and an increase in demand for learning disability nurse training. We are committed to listening, hearing and taking action to support the delivery of learning disability nursing across the four countries and will continue to work closely with colleagues to build the capability and capacity of the workforce. We recognise that there have been challenges in recruiting to learning disability nurse training programmes and we are in support of the actions to promote learning disability nursing as a profession and in support of the national commitment to invest in the workforce.

We recognise that learning disability nursing has faced many challenges. The most significant of these has been in the failure of care for some of the most vulnerable people. Learning disability nurses are committed to challenging poor, discriminative and abusive practice and we are committed to standing with the learning disability nursing workforce to promote abuse free care that promotes the welfare of people and their families. We welcome a greater cohesion across the nursing workforce to reduce health inequalities and promote positive outcomes for people with learning disabilities.

As the celebrations of 100 years of learning disability nursing are coming to an end, it is important to reflect on where learning disability nursing has come from and to look beyond the horizon to the future role of learning disability nursing. Strengthening the Commitment and Living the Commitment has demonstrated the work that has been undertaken to affect the some of the changes needed to make a difference to people's lives and each of the countries has stated their ongoing pledge to further evolve the workforce by identifying priorities to continue with this work in line with national policy and developments. Moving in to the next decade learning disability nurses must continue to be ambassadors, working with people, their families and communities to promote and advocate for the rights of people with learning disabilities to receive the health care they need.



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