100 years of Learning Disability Nursing

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in Learning disability, News on 21st June, 2019

Learning Disability Nurses are celebrating 100 years of their profession this year. To mark the occasion, there have been a number of tea parties held across the teams in Devon over the last couple of months.

Jayne Haddleton and Linda Hancox held a successful event in North Devon, which involved a competition to design a mug to illustrate what Learning Disability Nurses do. We also celebrated at the South West Health Network meeting with NHS England and learning disability nurses from across the region.

Whilst in Mid Devon, Eddie Purkiss, Commissioning Nurse, organised a coffee morning at Turning Tides, a local café and were entertained by a local music group. 

In Exeter, there were cakes aplenty and it was lovely to see ‘ex’ nurses who are now enjoying their retirement.


In East, there was more coffee and biscuits on offer AND fruit! Well, we should try to eat a healthy, balanced diet (in between all of the cake!).

The Primary Care Liaison Team also held a shared lunch at the end of the last business meeting and Becca Douglas had organised a wordsearch containing common words that were used when institutions were still open. This game generated lots of discussion and some of the younger team members could not quite believe that people with a learning disability did not have toothbrushes on some wards and would often have clothing that was for ‘communal use’ (in the 1980s!).


At the end of May, a large contingent of nurses attended a Learning Disability Nursing Conference at UWE in Bristol. It provided the opportunity to hear about some good practice that is happening across the region but also network with other Learning Disability nurses who share similar interests. We were also treated to a performance from the Misfits (a theatre group formed of people with learning disabilities). They were brilliant and definitely the highlight of the day for all of us!