Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

History of learning disability nursing to be explored in 'unique' new study

  • Comment

The development of learning disability nursing in England and Ireland over the past 30 years is to be explored in a new project looking at the sustainability of the workforce.

Nurses and healthcare assistants are being encouraged to share their experiences with the project, which is being led by the University of West London, Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Nursing.

“Reflecting upon nursing history is a critical component which allows us to progress and move forward”

Annie Norman

It is hoped that 20 people in England, and the same number from Ireland, will take part in the two-year study – with half of the group being registered nurses and the remainder HCAs.

Participants must have at least 30 years’ experience working in a congregated setting, such as a group home, hostel or hospital, that has involved caring for a minimum of six people with learning disabilities.

The project will “draw heavily on the oral history tradition, and in particular focus on the sustainability of a unique health care workforce”, according to those behind it.

They said the aim was to collect and analyse data to support and challenge current understanding of the trajectory of learning disability nursing in recent years.

However, those who have previously provided oral evidence to universities in either England or Ireland will not be able to take part.

Dr Colin Griffiths, assistant professor at Trinity College Dublin, and Bob Gates, professor of learning disabilities at the University of West London, are leading the project.

Bob Gates

Bob Gates

Bob Gates

They said it presented a “unique opportunity” to contribute to the historical knowledge of this field of nursing both in Ireland and England.

Annie Norman, RCN professional lead for learning disabilities, added: “The RCN really values partnership work in this area.

“Reflecting upon nursing history is a critical component, which allows us to progress and move forward to provide the best care possible to those we support,” she said.

Participants will be interviewed from February to June and findings from the study will be shared next year.


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.