Our learning disability team win top accolade at RCNI awards

Our amazing learning disability team have won a prestigious UK award.

Shaun Lever, Serena Jones, Ged Jennings, Lauren Johnston and Susan Youds won the Learning Disability Nursing category of the RCNi Nurse Awards 2019. The profession’s top accolade for nursing excellence attracted almost 700 entries this year.


The learning disability team has halved patient stays through what the Care Quality Commission and NHS England recently acknowledged as a standout service.

The team established steering groups with service users as core members, as well as a champion network that provides a forum to address educational, environmental and clinical needs. Training has been given to more than 3,400 staff and length of stay for more than 543 patients has been halved. The team has co-produced foundation-level learning disability and autism training and information packs that are now used by 12 trusts and primary care services in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Ged Jennings, learning disability nurse, said: "I am extremely proud for our team to win especially in 2019, when we are celebrating 100 years of learning disability nursing. Our service has tried really hard to improve care for people with learning disabilities and autism."

"We’re proud to win, proud to be at these prestigious awards and proud to be nurses."

"The role of learning disability nursing has changed so much. It’s becoming more diverse and moving into places learning disability nurses have never been before. Making a difference to the people of Liverpool is profound."

Shaun Lever, dementia and learning disabilities lead, said: "Receiving the national RCNI learning disability team of the year 2019 as part of 100 years of learning disability nursing was a pinnacle achievement that we will always cherish. The event felt prestigious and the competition was fierce with  so much passion and talent in the room. The announcement that we had won seemed surreal and the swell of pride for what we had achieved was immense."

"The support throughout the Trust has enabled us to demonstrate a transformation of care that is also influencing external services which ultimately means patients with learning disabilities receive improved care and clinical outcomes. I am immensely proud of the team."

RCNi Nurse Awards judge Margaret Sneddon, honorary senior research fellow at the University of Glasgow, said: "The team at Royal Liverpool has not only introduced a service that has transformed care, reduced hospital stays and prevented complications and readmissions, it has integrated the service and educated all staff, not just health professionals, to change the culture and ensure its sustainability."

RCNi managing director Rachel Armitage said: "Nurses in all areas are increasingly under pressure but they still deliver exceptional innovation and outstanding, compassionate patient care day in, day out."

"The RCNi Nurse Awards are a chance to recognise the achievements of nurses like Ged and his team and showcase nursing excellence."