Learning Disability & Mental Health

Learning Disability: Improving Health Reviews with our Student Nurses


At nurse Maggi Bradley’s practice, Aughton Surgery, she welcomed two student learning disabilities nurses (Jess Lea and Kim Wareing) on 12-week placements. In such a short space of time they have overhauled and improved our learning disability (LD) review process.

Annual health checks for our LD patients aged 14 and over are a vital regular touchpoint which allow us to build a rapport, offer an opportunity for them to share any concerns as well as allowing us to identify any health concerns at an early stage. To make this run as smoothly and comfortably as possible, we called upon the expertise of Jess and Kim in their capacity as third year LD student nurses at Edge Hill University.

Educational Activity

The student nurses have taken ownership of the project: educating the entire team on good practice; analysing the settings we use; reframing how we contact patients prior to appointments; and how we can make reasonable adjustments for people who need them, including the addition of this information to their electronic patient records. Focusing on mapping out what they would need to learn based on the competencies including ensuring that they meet all within primary care of that practice, not just the nurse. They focused on their speciality ensuring to showcasing a holistic understanding and knowledge base. They have explored the benefits of taking a learning disability student nurse on placement in Primary Care.

Key Outcomes

It’s a powerful showcase of the impact student nurses can have, not just in primary care but across the whole NHS. Jess and Kim’s enthusiasm to achieve positive change is infectious and the effect on our practice invaluable. Consequently, our staff feel better equipped and more confident than ever to welcome patients with learning difficulties to the practice.

Personally, for Maggi it has been a privilege to work alongside them. They have certainly challenged her and the way in which she communicates with LD patients, and she has no doubt a much-improved nurse by being introduced to new ways of thinking.

Finishing how we started, please use today to appreciate those you know who are involved in the profession or nurses who may have cared for you recently or in previous years. A small gesture can go a long way to those working tirelessly to provide care across all NHS settings.

A special thank you to Maggi, Jess, Kim and all the other students nurses out there making an incredible difference to our NHS: you inspire us every day

Partners / Collaborators

Edge Hill University, Aughton Surgery, LD patients.

Follow the fish bowl in order making sure to click on resources, where available. 

A Journey Toward Improved Mental Health Reviews in Primary Care

Given its position as the first point of contact for individuals with mental health disorders Primary Care is central to mental health service provision. It plays a crucial role to play in ensuring continuity of care for individuals with mental health disorders and the gatekeeper to additional and more specialised mental health services and treatments.

With this in mind it is imperative that Primary Care functions effectively in the recognition and management of mental health disorders as well as engaging with patients in preventative interventions.

This pathway is a visual representation of how a Primary Care Practice  worked with a Student Nurse specialising in Mental healthcare, to assess, develop and redefine the processes and procedures within the Practice to radically improve the annual mental healthcare review process for its patients.

By putting patient need and feedback at the heart of the new process, and ensuring the whole Practice was appropriately trained to deliver it effectively, patients receive a holistic and valuable care experience which actively supports their continuing care.

Take a look and see if something similar could be put in place in your work environment.