What difference will you be making?
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What difference will you be making?

Amanda Keighley Senior Lecturer, St Martin's College, Lancaster

The Government’s new strategy for nursing, Making a Difference sets out to modernise nursing practice across the country. But what about learning disability nurses? Amanda Keighley has taken a look at the new strategy and believes that learning disability nurses will have a head start when it comes to putting its ideas into practice

In 1995, the Department of Health’s report on learning disability nursing, Continuing the Commitment(Kay et al 1995) concluded that there was overwhelming support for the retention of a specialist practitioner for people with learning disabilities. It also recommended that nurses should ‘ensure that their contribution is more explicitly linked to the maintenance and improvement of the health of people with learning disability’ and to ‘place stronger emphasis on the support of initiatives that enable people with learning disability to advocate for themselves.’ By including examples of best practice from across the country, the report showed how learning disability nurses were already making a significant difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities. In the light of the publication of the Department of Health’s new strategy for nursing,Making a Difference(DoH 1999), learning disability nurses should feel confident that they can use its key themes to further develop their practice.

Learning Disability Practice. 2, 3,6-6. doi: 10.7748/ldp.2.3.6.s7

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