We are a specialist team that provides a flexible and accessible service that gives support and advice to families who have a child or young person with a learning disability.

We assess the needs of children and young people with a learning disability and work with them and their families to develop, deliver and monitor programmes of care and support to meet their needs.

We work with children and young people when universal services, which means the services any young person can access like health visitors, school nurses or GPS, cannot meet their needs.

Everything we do relies on our ability to work with and co-ordinate with other services, including social services, education professionals and other health services.

We are a specialist team who work to improve complex and challenging behaviours, usually focused around:

  • Eating and nutrition
  • Sleeping
  • Toileting and continence
  • Personal hygiene
  • Sexual health
  • Behaviour

How can we help?

Children’s Learning Disability Nurses are specialised in providing practical support, advice and assistance in a number of areas for children and young people with learning disabilities.

To do this, we initially conduct a holistic assessment of healthcare needs. We provide:

  • Early intervention – to prevent a young person from developing further problems or have their difficulty worsen
  • Prevention of escalating need
  • Promotion of wellbeing through education
  • Fixed term episodes of specialist intervention, for example, behaviour management
  • Improving access for children and young people with learning disabilities
  • Reduction and targeting of inequalities
  • Support in the young person’s transition to adult services
  • Family support and empowering of parents and carers to support their child
  • Safeguarding children and young people

We work in partnership with a wide range of agencies to achieve outcomes.

Guide to support families of children with complex health needs >

Who might my child see?

The young person will be allocated a named nurse who is a registered Learning Disability Nurse. They will work with other professionals who are involved with the young person’s care as required. This could include:

  • Paediatric consultant
  • GP
  • Health visitor
  • School nurse
  • Social worker
  • School staff
  • Pre-school staff
  • Occupational therapist
  • Physiotherapist

What happens next?

Once the young person has been allocated a named nurse, the nurse will contact the family directly and make an appointment for a screening assessment visit. This is usually in the family home. However, we can offer an alternative location if required. We may also need to visit the young person in their educational setting to support the process.

The nurse will then discuss the assessment process with you to formulate and agree a Health Care Plan.

We will work with a child or young person until their needs are met, which usually takes 6-8 sessions. We will always refer on to universal services who can continue to support a young person once their needs have improved.

In some instances, we will refer on to further specialist services if we cannot support a young person.

Families can re-refer once they are known to our team, if they feel they need further support.