Learning Disability Champions

We believe Learning Disabilities is everybody’s business. There are 1.5 million people in the UK and 75,000 people in Wales with a learning disability. At any one time 2% of patients in hospital will have a learning disability. We believe training on Learning Disability should be mandatory and we successfully campaigned for this in 2019.

When our petition was debated in the Senedd, all AMs agreed and voted unanimously for learning disability training to become mandatory across all areas of healthcare in Wales.

Our vision is to see Learning Disability Liaison Nurses in every hospital in Wales. These Liaison Nurses train and  support Learning Disability Champions in their hospitals. There are currently 18 liaison nurses across Wales, with several more in the pipeline!

We also work with Welsh Universities to support Student Learning Disability Champion training amongst nursing students. In 2019 we trained almost 1200 students.

Since Covid in 2020, we have moved our training online, and we have successfully shared Paul’s Story and carried out Champion Training to many students at Swansea University and University of South Wales.  We would like to thank both Universities for the amazing support that they offer us, allowing us to share our vision with their students.

Learning Disability Champion Training

Initial Champion Training is a 3 hour session with a short break in the middle. Champion Training can be delivered by Health board professionals, learning disability liaison nurses or ourselves.

To support LD Champion training we have put together a  collection of resources, some of which can be can be downloaded from our site. Please see below for the links.

Resources include:

Who can be a Learning Disability Champion?

Anyone who works in a hospital can be a LD Champion. Details of Champion training can be found on each Health Board’s Intranet or by contacting the LD Liaison Nurses. The Paul Ridd Foundation also shares details of upcoming training on our Facebook page.

What does it mean to be a Learning Disability champion?

The role of the Learning Disability Champion is an important one. Champion support can really help the patient with a learning disability, their carer and family to have the level of care and support they deserve. Lack of awareness and understanding often means people with a learning disability are among the most excluded and disadvantaged people in society.

The role of the LD Champion is to work with the staff on their ward or department, and with the hospital LD liaison nurse to provide the care the patient needs.

Patients with a learning disability may have difficulty communicating their needs, but their Health Profile will help staff understand the individual needs of the patient. If they do not have one, there will be a blank copy in the Resource Folder to complete with the patient/carer. Please contact the Foundation if you need a copy, or download one from our website. Health Profiles are kept with the patients notes at the end of their bed. Please make sure you read it carefully.

Look for reasonable adjustments that can be made. Talk to your Learning Disability Liaison nurse about these.

Reasonable Adjustments

Under the Equality Act 2010, people with a learning disability have the right to reasonable adjustments when using healthcare.

These adjustments can be simple changes, or involve more complex planning, but they remove barriers or provide something additional so that people with learning disabilities can receive equality of healthcare.

Examples of Reasonable Adjustments

Recruitment Poster

Champion Booklet

Pledge Card

Evaluation Form


Resources for NHS Staff

Please take a look through our NHS staff resource page...