Learning Disability: Nurses

Department of Health written question – answered on 16th December 2014.

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Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Conservative, Daventry

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what recent assessment he has made of the sufficiency of specialist learning disability liaison nurses within NHS trusts.

Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The latest monthly workforce statistics for August 2014 published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre on 25 November show that there were 1,998 full time equivalent (FTE) nurses working in community learning disabilities and 1,965 FTE learning disability nurses working in other settings in the National Health Service in England. It is not possible within these numbers to separately identify specialist liaison nurses.

Local healthcare organisations, with their knowledge of the patients they serve, are best placed to plan and employ a workforce appropriate to the needs of their patients, based on clinical need and sound evidence.

The Department is working with Health Education England (HEE) on a number of initiatives to raise the profile of learning disability nursing and promote the profession as an attractive career choice. In 2014-15 HEE increased the number of training places for learning disability nurses by 4.5%.

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