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Student nurse develops learning disability innovation

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A nursing student from Wales has won an award for devising an innovative resource to help involve people with learning disabilities in key decisions about their care.

Jade Silver, a learning disability nursing student at the University of South Wales, won the best practice award for creating an easy-to-read guide to care and treatment plans.

“It’s one of those ideas that was so simple people were saying ‘why haven’t we done something like this before,’” said Ms Silver, who is due to graduate later this year.

“But everyone’s so busy caring for people they don’t always get the time to sit down and plan things like this,” she added.

“This should help people with learning disabilities to understand the processes surrounding their care”

Jade Silver

The award was presented at a learning disability nursing conference in Derby.

The guide will now be considered by the Welsh government. People with learning disabilities will also be consulted on its content.

If approved, it could be rolled out across the whole of Wales and made available elsewhere.

“We focus on a ‘person-centred’ style of nursing so it’s a huge priority for us to include everyone in planning how their care is delivered,” said Ms Silver.

“This should help people with learning disabilities to understand the processes surrounding their care so they can plan treatment with professionals and family,” she added.

Ruth Northway, professor of learning disability nursing at the University of South Wales, described the guide as “a great piece of work”.

“It is really pleasing to see one of our students both recognising where there is a need to develop practice and taking action to make this development happen,” she said.

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