7 minute Briefing. Communicating with People with Learning disabilities

LD Service Updates

  • Aintree ward  

During sessions it has been reported by patients that staff have been supporting them through role play. For some of our patients this is a key learning tool that not only enables and supports understanding of situations and the perspective of others, but that it can be an enjoyable activity.

Mia Morris visited Aintree ward to conduct the “quality first” visit, she has passed on her thanks for the staff team showing her “some fabulous examples of patients care and quality standards”. Nancy Thornley emailed the team to pass on this thanks and to highlight this was Mia’s first visit to Rampton Hospital and that “you had certainly left a good impression” … well done Aintree in demonstrating the awesome work that is delivered every day!!!!


Following on from the work that Aintree team have been delivering to support a patient nursed in long term segregation, where they have been slowing de-sensitising this patient to access several areas within the ward/hospital. They have successfully been able to access the main area of the ward, even access outside space and facilitate walks. This month they were able to access Southwell for the first time and sat for short while in the central area, the main aim of accessing Southwell is to slowly introduce the sensory room. The approach the team has taken is to review environments and activities the patient will value, and this individualised approach is what person-centred care is all about… well done katy Twigg and the team.

Lisa Hagen a Team leader on Aintree Ward has developed a NEWs2 quiz, this tool is now being incorporated into qualified nursing staff’s managerial supervision across the service. This simple, but effective tool, enables patient’s physical healthcare needs to be identified. At the monthly care quality commission focus group this tool was highlighted as good practice with other matrons considering rolling this out across their own services. Lisa is not one to take credit for all her hard work, but we couldn’t inform you all of this amazing tool without giving its creator the credit she so deserves… well done Lisa!!!

  • Newmarket ward

Amelia Harding from NHS England and NHS improvement recently visited both Aintree and Newmarket wards and wanted to pass on her thanks for the warm welcome herself and Hannah Prince had received from the staff team during their two-day visit. They “found the staff friendly, open, informative and giving of their time, making the visit a pleasure”.

  • Cheltenham ward

Carrying on from the positive praise Cheltenham team were awarded in a recent CTR regarding intensive interaction it has been observed over the last few months more and more staff engaging in this approach. Well done Kieran Eccleston for your innovative football sessions and to James Sowerby and Craig Griffiths for your dance skills. Gentlemen you may not quite be ready for strictly yet… but it’s a 10 from us.

Cheltenham ward have had several new admissions recently and the team are working with their patients to build therapeutic relationships. This has also included supporting family members, Ward manager Ambrose Burton has maintained phone contact with a family during the admission process and leading up to the first visit, where Brett Mason and Craig Griffiths supported family members both before and during the visit. During this pandemic I think we can all appreciate how significant staff contact is with family, whether that be from a physical or mental health environment.

Cheltenham ward have commenced a monthly reflective practice session for night staff, the first of which was delivered this month. We are hoping to role this out on Kempton ward starting next month and will allow for staff that work predominately nights to feel supported as well as able to share and discuss the wealth of information and ideas they may have.

  • Kempton ward

During community meetings patients on Kempton ward have been working with staff to create a poster regarding blanket restrictions, hopefully this will be ready for all to see over the next month.

Kempton ward community meeting is regularly chaired by a patient. One patient has volunteered on a number of occasions, although on the day has then withdrawn this offer, this month though the ward team were able to support him to complete this role and I’m sure all present would agree he did an amazing job… well done all!!!!

  • Southwell

For “mental health awareness” month Southwell put on a several activities focused around sensory awareness and mindfulness. This included…

  • Visiting the sensory garden
  • Bug hunt
  • Bird spotting
  • Nature quiz
  • Planting new seeds

And no outdoor garden activity would be complete without a good old catch up in the shed with a cuppa… plenty of activities to choose from and something for everyone.


As well as SPELL training re-starting in June, we have also secured a number of places on the dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) internal training here at Rampton. We will hopefully be able to update you all in next months update on the participating staff and how they are getting on. SPELL stands for Structure, Positive, Empathy, Low Arousal, Links

Supporting Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder within High Secure Forensic Services. – Involvement, Experience & Volunteering (nottshc.nhs.uk)

Conferences / Research / Service Promotion

As a National Service we would like to thank Kirk Linkin a staff nurse on Cheltenham Ward for participating in a project with NHS England called NextGen Nurses – which is a national outreach programme to engage young people in virtual insight sessions and virtual work experience opportunities with nursing ambassadors to promote nursing as an aspirational career of choice.  Focusing on young people from ethnic minority backgrounds and particularly young men. He’s been a real advocate for the Service, promoting the work that we do as a service and highlighting the importance of having Registered Learning Disability Nurses working with complex individuals… amazing work Kirk!!!!


Congratulations to SN Teresa Phipps who was successful at interview for the post of Clinical Nurse Practitioner within the National High Secure Learning Disability Service – Teresa is now in post and we are really looking forward to her being able to draw on her experiences as a Registered Learning Disability Nurse to both promote and support the needs of those we care for.

Congratulations to Amy Goodhew and Melanie Dexter who have successfully secured their places on the next TNA (trainee nurse associates) university course. We would all like to wish you every success in your studies and hope you have treated yourselves to some new stationary… welcome to student life!!!

Other news

All Wards within the National High Secure Service achieved 100% compliance in the PPE Spot Check Audits!!!! This demonstrates the care and compassion of these staff teams as they continue to work together during this pandemic to protect the wellbeing of their patients and colleagues.

Your feedback Matters

Each six Months we do a Trust wide survey to ask our Patients about their care. Patients are more confident to take part if they know what they say is going to be actioned will be taken, including on what could be better. Helen the Modern Matron runs a Monthly Patient Forum and works on a rolling Quality Improvement plan. The Patients take part actively and can see personally that their feedback does matter.

You said we Did

Nigel Groves

Involvement and experience Lead Forensic Services

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