Rosie Cooper MP for West Lancashire recently met with and listened to self-advocates and carers, about why the national shortage of learning disability nurses needs to be addressed.
The self-advocates and carers told their own individual story of the difference a learning disability nurse or lack of one made in their patient experience when visiting the hospital. They also asked Rosie to pressure the government about the national shortage of learning disability nurses, so that we do not see a repeat of the tragic spike of deaths we have seen during Covid-19.
The Learning Disability Nurses Not Hearses Campaign, which recently won the parliament awards digital campaign of the year is run by Harrow Mencap and supported by the Royal Mencap Society and supported by the ALL Party Parliamentary Group on Disability, calls for every NHS trust in the UK to have at least two learning disability nurses.
Getting NHS trusts to recruit more learning disability nurses will help to address the health inequality which people with learning disabilities experience as the 2018 Learning Disability Mortality Review found that men with a learning disability die 23 years younger, and women 27 years younger than the general population.
That’s why Rosie Cooper MP and Harrow Mencap want to see at least two learning disability nurses at each NHS trust, this will help to make sure that people get the reasonable adjustments at the hospital they are entitled to which do not just help people with learning disabilities but also other vulnerable groups.
Rosie Cooper MP said: “It was wonderful to hear the difference that a learning disability nurse can make in a person’s life. It is already far too difficult for people in this situation to access NHS services and so increased support is not just important, but vital!
“Inequality in health care is unfortunately common, but it doesn’t have to be. I hope the NHS will listen to this campaign and hire the necessary number of learning disability nurses so that everyone can access the support they need.”
You can sign up to the campaign on the website: https://www.harrowmencap.org.uk/nurses-not-hearses-campaign