In 2018 NHS Improvement (NHSI) published the learning disability improvement standards for NHS trusts. These four standards, if met, identify NHS Trusts as delivering high quality services for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people, and their families.

In 2019, disabled people, families, and health care professionals said that they wanted NHSI to identify and distribute some best practice examples that would help all NHS Trusts to make the standards a reality for everyone.

NHSI commissioned Changing Our Lives to connect with learning disability nurses and other clinicians in clinical settings across England and bring these examples together in a publication. These professionals spoke honestly about what excellent care for people with learning disabilities and/or autistic people looks like. They offered inspirational stories of innovative teamwork between professionals, individuals, and families that meant people got access to healthcare in ways that had never previously been considered possible.

However, it also became apparent during these conversations that there were still significant barriers and challenges to ensuring excellent care for everyone, all of the time. As a result, the report addresses some of those challenges and aims to contribute to a national conversation about how the role of the learning disability nurse can be developed and complemented, to maximise its impact.

‘Best practice and challenges in learning disability nursing in 2020: putting the learning disability improvement standards for NHS trusts into practice’ comprises 79 examples of best practice taken from across 16 NHS Trusts, a regional learning disability network and three voluntary sector organisations. It is being released at a national nursing symposium led by Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England on 10th December 2020.

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