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Celebrating Learning Disability Nursing at The Old Naval College

By Lloyd Page and Steve Hardy

We want to share with everyone what a fantastic day we had on Friday 25th August. It was the day of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust Adult Learning Disability Service first ever national conference! The day was the idea of Mark Bradley, Head of Nursing who wanted to promote and celebrate Learning Disability Nursing and share the great work that happens in this branch of nursing and he certainly achieved it!

The first presentation was by Bexley ResearchNet who did a great job of explaining what they do and some projects they have done. They have worked with the Metropolitan Police and Sidcup Fire Brigade.

Next up was a really interesting talk about genomics. This was new to us and found it quite difficult to understand. But we now know what is genomics and we learnt about what is Phelan-McDermid Syndrome!

Lloyd then joined Jenny Sentongo, Acite Liasion Nurse who works at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich. They both gave a real insight into how they support the hospital to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities.

Lloyd then attended the constipation seminar delivered by Holly Berry. We learn y about the sad and avoidable death of Richard Handley. We can now also recognise the symptoms of constipation and what food you should eat to avoid it.

Now it was lunchtime and this gave us an opportunity to explore the historic Old Naval College in Greenwich. It is one of the finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the UK. It was originally built in 1692 and was the Royal Hospital for Seamen in Greenwich and then became the Old Naval College in 1873. It is now the home of the University of Greenwich. The buildings are dramatic but what is really interesting is that many films were here including The Wolfman, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Skyfall and Thor: The Dark World!

After lunch we attended a seminar gave by the great people of Atlas House. Often misunderstood but they do some great person-centred work there. We were really impressed by the multi-disciplinary team.

Last but certainly not the least was Kimbia Mothers, Lead for Neurodiversity in the London Prisons. We learnt so much from Kimbia and her expertise is so evident.

What a brilliant and enjoyable time we spent in sunny Greenwich! We would like to thank Mark and his troop of nurses for the networking, shared learning and their compassion for people with learning disabilities! We look forward to next year's conference!

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