The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Foundation has announced a funding call of up to £30,000 for a research study exploring the work of learning disability nurses.
The charity, which is attached to the RCN, is inviting applications from individuals or organisations to undertake the research into the impact of learning disability nurses on health inequalities, health-related quality of life outcomes and premature deaths for people with a lived experience of a learning disability.
The funding call is a part of the RCN Foundation’s wider programme of work on learning disability nursing.
The outputs and outcomes of the research will be used to raise awareness of the importance of the role of learning disability nurses in improving the outcomes of individuals with a learning disability, and to provide guidance to the workforce on how to explain the impact they have on this aspect of care.
The foundation emphasised that all four countries of the UK should be considered.
Deepa Korea, director of the RCN Foundation, said: ‘Recognising the importance of learning disability nursing and its contributions to healthcare in the UK is crucial, even more so when so little is known and when attrition rates from this field of nursing are at an all-time high.’
In 2019, the RCN Foundation funded a scoping review by the University of West London into understanding the impact that learning disability nurses can have on improving the health and wellbeing of children, adults and older people with learning disabilities.
The review emphasised the importance of learning disability nurses but recommended that further work was needed to find out more about how people with learning disabilities benefit from this workforce.
‘Funding research that explores the impact of learning disability nursing, I hope, will ultimately reduce health inequality and enhance health-related quality of life outcomes for those with lived experience of learning disability,’ said Ms Korea.