Health Education England has commissioned Changing Our Lives to compile a range of stories from people with a learning disability, autistic people, and their families, all foregrounding the impact made by learning disability nurses on their lives. This publication is also part of HEE and NHSE/I’s developing work to complete an All England Plan for Learning Disability Nursing.

Rita, Marc and Dylan’s stories showcase how the learning disability nurse makes healthcare personalised to the individual, ensuring that their specific needs remain at the forefront, through reasonable adjustments and on-going negotiation within the healthcare environment. All three stories demonstrate how these interventions not only result in improved outcomes for the person’s physical health but also an improved quality of life overall.

Bethany and Matthew’s stories speak of how learning disability nurses play a vital role in the work of Transforming Care, moving people trapped in hospitals into their own homes or surroundings that are facilitating a move to their own home.

Roxy and Joan’s stories are an illustration of the important role played by learning disability nurses in championing the mental health needs of people with a learning disability and autistic people. More often than not, mental health is not fully recognised by the wider health and social care environment. When practitioners meet a person with a learning disability or an autistic person, the individual is typically reduced to the label of learning disability or autism, and thus the significance of their mental health, which is a universal aspect across all our lives as human beings, is overshadowed and dismissed.

Mary and Ronnie’s stories are a testament to the vital importance of working in co-production with people with a learning disability and autistic people. Whether it be co-design of services, or co-delivering training and evaluation of health provision, people with lived experience need to be seen as equal and essential partners.

These stories were sourced from across England, and capture only a snapshot of people’s experiences. We know there are far more examples and far wider themes within learning disability nursing than one book can contain but in compiling these stories we hope to have made a start.

Click here to read the book