The RCN Foundation is seeking to fund a research study which will empower the RNLD workforce to articulate their unique contribution to addressing health inequalities; improving health related quality of life outcomes and reducing premature deaths for people with a lived experience of a learning disability (LD), based upon analysis of the evidence- base and the experiences of nurses and individuals with lived experience of an LD.
A key grant-making priority for the RCN Foundation is Learning Disability Nursing. In 2019, we funded a scoping review by the University of West London into understanding the impact that nurses can have on improving the health and well-being of children, adults, and older people with learning disabilities.
The review demonstrated the importance of RNLDs and how they improve the health, healthcare experiences and quality of life of people with learning disabilities. However, it was recommended that more work is needed to find out more about how people with learning disabilities benefit from what learning disability nurses do.
The role of the RNLD is widely respected amongst the nursing profession, however there is very limited knowledge and understanding of the impact of learning disability nursing on health-related outcomes and reducing health inequalities for those with an LD.
Health inequalities (HI) are unjust and avoidable differences in health outcomes across the population and between different societal groups (WHO, 2018). Those with lived experience of an LD are 3-4 times more likely to die from an avoidable medical cause of death due to a lack of timely and effective treatment (NICE, 2021). Despite this, there is very limited knowledge and understanding of the impact of learning disability nursing on health-related outcomes and reducing HI for those with an LD.
The aim of this research will be to demonstrate the impact that RNLDs have on health inequalities and people with a lived experience of an LD. The outputs and outcomes of the research should be used to raise awareness of the importance of the role of RNLDs in improving the health outcomes of individuals with a learning disability and help the RNLD workforce to explain what their unique contribution is to addressing health inequalities, enhancing health related quality of life outcomes and reducing premature deaths for individuals with lived experience of a learning disability.
The RCN Foundation is now seeking applications from individuals or organisations to work with our Trustees and staff over a 12-month period. Funding available is up to the value of £30,000 and the project should be undertaken in 2023-2024.
The lived experience of individuals with an LD must be central to the research. The voice of those with lived experience must be present throughout the research. In addition, all four countries of the UK should be considered, and the research should include consultation with nurses, midwives and healthcare support workers caring for individuals with an LD.
Applications are now closed.