midwifeyA new two-person team is to be appointed to help people with learning disabilities to co-design and transform NHS services, it has been announced.

Jane Cummings, NHS England’s chief nurse, made the announcement at a recent NHS board meeting that someone with a learning disability will be recruited in a full-time role alongside another full-time member of staff to work in a co-worker model and inform and engage with people with learning disabilities as part of NHS England’s Transforming Care programme.

The two Learning Disability Network Officers will work together to develop a strong and influential network. The aim is to ensure people with a learning disability have a strong voice, can influence the NHS’ work and play a significant role in shaping services.

“We want to deliver the ambition to move as many people as possible into community settings with the support they need,” said Cummings. “We have to systematically remove the blocks which are stopping that from happening.

“We want to enable people with learning disabilities to have the same rights as everyone else. Many want to work and have the chance to live a normal life – not be put in an inpatient setting. It’s not what they want and it’s not what they deserve.”

The appointments come as part of a larger piece of work around Transforming Care for people with a learning disability. Part of the programme is to move any patients with a learning disability who are in an inpatient setting inappropriately back into the community.

It is expected the posts will be advertised before Christmas to begin early in the New Year.