Envisioning a workforce fit for the 21st century
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Envisioning a workforce fit for the 21st century

Bob Gates Project leader, Learning disabilities workforce development, South Central Strategic Health Authority and visiting professor of learning disabilities at Thames Valley University, London, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Bob Gates describes the Valued People Project which sought the views of commissioners, managers and practitioners about the specialist workforce of the future

A well educated and trained workforce is central to the development of quality care for people with learning disabilities. Unsure of the demand for educational programmes for pre-registration learning disability nursing, South Central Strategic Health Authority commissioned the Valued People Project to undertake a detailed review of educational commissioning and the specialist learning disability health workforce. The project provided an evidence-based evaluation of the future direction of education commissioning and leadership in specialist learning disability services, as well as the wider NHS workforce.

This article reports on one aspect of the project; the semi-structured interviews and focus group work with commissioners, managers and practitioners of learning disability services about the specialist health workforce needed to support this group and their families in the future. It identifies strong support for a specialist NHS workforce, mirroring findings from people with learning disabilities and their parents (Gates and Waight 2010).

Learning Disability Practice. 14, 1,12-18. doi: 10.7748/ldp2011.02.14.1.12.c8322

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