A cohort of 10 new Learning Disability innovation projects commenced their programme this week, with the first of six online workshops.

The projects are being supported as part of the QNI’s Fund for Innovation programme, thanks to a major grant from the Burdett Trust for Nursing. Each of the nurse-led projects will benefit from funding of up to £5000 and a year-long programme of professional development from the QNI.

The projects were originally selected at the start of 2020 and were due to join their first workshop in London just as the pandemic broke. The QNI postponed the projects until the recovery phase of the pandemic and decided to take the learning online.

The projects are based across England including Bournemouth, Guildford, Aylesbury, Birmingham, Bolton, Bury, the Wirral, Huddersfield and Halifax. The projects aim to improve nursing care for people with learning disabilities in the community in a wide variety of ways:

  • How to manage an unsafe swallow to reduce the risk of aspiration pneumonia
  • Reducing anxiety at GP appointments and increasing the productivity
  • Creating a health passport for children
  • Developing a safety pack for parents who have a learning disability from antenatal to first year of life
  • Improving sleep for children
  • Creating a dementia observation handbook
  • Introducing sensory occupational therapy to improve diet and weight management (for both under and overweight children)
  • Improving access to health promotion/health screening
  • Building confidence to use the health services appropriately
  • Improve annual health checks, quality and uptake within General Practice.

These Community Learning Disability projects demonstrate the huge range of innovative work being carried out by nurse specialists and their colleagues in communities across the country. These are the first online workshops ever carried out by the QNI and this represents both a new challenge and a new opportunity for everyone involved, including staff, facilitators and project leaders. We eagerly anticipate the learning that will come out of this new way of working and look forward to sharing it to enhance service delivery in other community settings.

Sue Boran, QNI Director of Nursing Programmes



The QNI has been supporting nurse-led projects in the community in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since 1990.

The Burdett Trust for Nursing has funded a series of thematic QNI innovation programmes in recent years. Applications are currently open for nurse-led projects in complex care in the community and primary care. The deadline to apply is 30th October 2020 for projects to be delivered in 2021 and further information can be found here: https://www.qni.org.uk/explore-qni/nurse-led-projects/complex-needs-in-primary-care/

The QNI recently published a major independent study of its Homeless Health innovation funding programme, which can be viewed here: https://www.qni.org.uk/nursing-in-the-community/homeless-health-programme/homeless-health-nursing-projects/ .


Video title

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. Aliquid aperiam corporis ea earum eveniet nemo, porro voluptatibus! A expedita in laborum non odit quidem quis quod reiciendis reprehenderit sint? Quo.