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Inclusive Health – enhancing the lives of individuals with learning disabilities

We are funding a series of research and education projects to support the needs and outcomes of people living with a learning disability and the nursing staff who support them. The programme will be delivered over a four-year period at a cost of around £360,000. Read more here about our learning disability and learning disability nursing grant-making programme here.

In 2019, we funded a scoping review, undertaken by the University of West London, to identify learning disability nursing interventions and their impact on the health of people with a lived experience of a learning disability.

A learning disability is a lifelong condition which significantly affects an individual’s ability to carry out everyday activities, understand new or complex information and learn new skills (NHS, 2018; Mencap, 2022). There are currently 1.5 million people in the UK with a learning disability which accounts for 2.16% of adults and 2.5% of children (ONS, 2020). Despite this, NHS figures from 2012-2022 show that the number of registered learning disability nurses in England has fallen by 31% in the past decade - from 4,353 to 2,983 comparatively.

Meet Samantha

Following the arrival of her second daughter who has Down's Syndrome, Samantha decided to change careers. She was awarded an Into Nursing education grant of £7,500 to undertake a BSc in Learning Disability Nursing, enabling her to support people with learning disabilities.  

Man with downs syndrome and woman

RCN Foundation  Learning Disability Scholarship 

RCN Foundation Scholarship MSc Advanced Practice Learning Disability - closing date 31 May

Down syndrome boy in waiting room

Funding call to develop a co-designed tool to assist people with a learning disability

A project to assist people with lived experience of a learning disability to access urgent and emergency care in times of ill health. Applications now closed.

Learning disability image

Funding call for research study that explores the impact of Learning Disability Nurses

A research study exploring the impact of LD Nurses on health inequalities for people with a lived experience of a learning disability. Applications now closed.

Purple All Stars Carevis event

Resources to help people with learning disabilities understand the benefits of vaccinations

The RCN Foundation, NHS England and charity, Beyond Words, have developed three illustrated resources designed to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities.

Nurses looking at paperwork

The RCN Foundation fund scoping review at University of West London

In 2019, the RCN Foundation funded the University of West London to undertake a scoping review of learning disability nursing. A four part report was produced to illustrate their findings.