A Discussion of the Treatment of People with an Intellectual Disability Across Healthcare and the Modernization of Learning Disability Nursing

Pamela Inglis, Hazel Powell, Angela Ridley, Sheila McQueen

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Abstract

Aims: A discussion of the treatment of people with an intellectual disability across healthcare and the modernisation of learning disability nursing. Background: Health inequalities are at the forefront of the collective mind of healthcare professionals and politicians, this paper explores why people with an intellectual disability have more health issues, die earlier and sometimes receive poor care, leading to unnecessary suffering and importantly, how this may change. Learning disability nursing has long been viewed as different and less valued, probably due to dual stigmatisation, or lack of understanding of specialist knowledge and skills required. This essential field of nursing is becoming a rare resource in our battle against health inequalities, yet internationally it is becoming recognised as crucial. Design: Discussion Paper. Data Sources: Literature and policy (1971 2015). Implications for Nursing: All nurses need to recognise their role in meeting the health care needs of people with an intellectual disability. Health care managers and commissioners should value the unique contribution of learning disability nurse in addressing health inequalities. Conclusion: Learning disabled people, their carers and professionals view the role of the learning disability nurse as central for effectively identifying and meeting health needs, reducing inequalities and barriers, supporting decisions around capacity, consent, best interests and advising and educating professionals. Recommendations for commissioning, nursing and services are made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability - Diagnosis and Treatment
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2015

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