Experiences of the implementation of a learning disability nursing liaison service within an acute hospital setting: a service evaluation

Castles, Amy, Bailey, Carol, Gates, Bob ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7822-6905 and Sooben, Roja (2014) Experiences of the implementation of a learning disability nursing liaison service within an acute hospital setting: a service evaluation. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42 (4). pp. 272-281. ISSN 1354-4187

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It has been well documented that people with learning disabilities receive poor care in acute settings. Over the last few years, a number of learning disability liaison nurse services have developed in the United Kingdom as a response to this, but there has been a failure to systematically gather evidence as to their effectiveness. This article reports on a service evaluation that sought to establish whether implementing a learning disability liaison nurse service improved hospital experiences for patients with learning disabilities, and their carers, whilst in an acute hospital setting. Quantitative data were collected on all patients with learning disabilities referred to this service over a six-month period, and this included numbers referred (elective and emergency), length of time for referral, presenting conditions and age profile, as well as activities of the liaison nurses. These data suggest an incremental rise in referral of patients with learning disabilities to this service over time, relatively few inappropriate referrals, referrals from hospital staff and community services were similar, and these nurses found that some patients with learning disabilities were not referred to the service. Concerning activities of these nurses, these were dominated by discharge planning, assisting in making reasonable adjustments, liaison work and assisting with mental capacity issues. In addition, patients with learning disabilities, their carers and hospital staff who had experience of this learning disability nursing liaison service were interviewed. It was found from these interviews that all participants understood the role of the liaison nurse and articulated that they improved communication as well as promoting holistic care. Those interviewed highlighted the importance of such a role and the need for it to continue. This service evaluation makes an important contribution to an ongoing gap in learning disability literature concerning the importance of such a service.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Subjects: Medicine and health > Nursing
Depositing User: Rod Pow
Date Deposited: 27 May 2014 15:17
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:17
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/876


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