An eye to the future
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An eye to the future

Jon Glasby Social worker and research student, The University of Birmingham, Department of Social Policy and Social Work

Given the rapid changes in health and social care in recent years, can learning disability nurses be sure that their skills will still be valued? Jon Glasby thinks nurses should have an open mind on the matter

With a general shift from hospital-based to community-based care for people with learning disabilities, the debate has raged as to the role of the learning disability nurse (RNLD). Following the advent of a separate workforce for people with learning disabilities in the 1920s, the RNLD has always remained marginalised within the wider nursing profession (Mitchell 1998), prompting calls for the learning disability branch programme to be abolished altogether (Sines 1993). Against this background, this article argues that specialist practitioners have a role to play in providing support and health care to people with learning disabilities, but that such workers need not necessarily be called ‘nurses’ nor employed in the health service.

Learning Disability Practice. 3, 3, 10-12. doi: 10.7748/ldp2000.09.3.3.10.c1431

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