Burdett Nursing Discharge Tool for People with Learning Disabilities

It is estimated that half a percent of individuals with learning disabilities receive treatment in psychiatric hospitals, with half of this number in forensic hospitals. Many of those people with learning disabilities in secure hospitals have been admitted from the Criminal Justice System (CJS). They are often associated with poorer outcomes, and in many cases are more likely to have future contact with the CJS, to receive a custodial or more restrictive or punitive sentencing, than their non-learning disabled peers. It is still the case that many people with learning disabilities are admitted due to a lack of appropriate high-support community provisions.

This project developed a person-centred discharge tool to support people with learning disabilities leaving hospital. This used a systematic framework to inform the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation during the discharge period. The tool is called the Burdett Discharge Planner. It was developed using a grant award from the Burdett Trust for Nursing to develop a discharge planner for nurses that requires active participation and decision-making from service users throughout the process in order to ensure a person-centred/ recovery approach. Currently, learning disability nurses working in inpatient settings will have different roles when it comes to discharge. Many nurses will be instrumental in preparing those they work closely with for discharge. This will include liaising with stakeholders such as families, commissioners and the receiving services. To accompany the discharge tool there is a guidance manual to assist with implementation and to standardise the process, much like measures and tools devised by medical or psychology staff for clinical use. The manual can be used by both learning disability nurses and those from other fields of nursing supporting people with learning disabilities.

Here are links to download the resources:

We would welcome feedback and comments on the materials and their use in practice. If you would like to know more, we are happy to meet and present to learning disability groups or student health and social care professionals. Please contact Eddie Chaplin at [email protected] if you are interested. We will ensure this is accessible for groups made up of people with learning disabilities and mixed groups. A launch is currently being planned for later in the year, and we will send out details along with the final report. Finally, we would like to thank the Burdett Trust for Nursing.

Eddie Chaplin - Director, Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities