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The views and experiences of learning disability nurses concerning their advocacy education

Penny Llewellyn, Ruth Northway
Nurse Education Today 2007, 27 (8): 955-63
17574711
A mixed methods project [Llewellyn, P., 2005. An investigation into the advocacy role of the learning disability nurse. University of Glamorgan, unpublished PhD Thesis] investigated the advocacy role of learning disability nurses. This paper discusses the section concerned with nurses' advocacy education. Focus groups, interviews and a questionnaire survey enabled nurses from a wide range of grades, seniority and experience to explore their received education in advocacy and their educational requirements concerning their advocacy role. Findings revealed that nurses' received education in advocacy varied according to the syllabus under which they qualified, with those whose education was influenced by the 1979 Jay Report having the highest incidence of advocacy training. Many learning disability nurses who had received theoretical education did not feel confident to advocate for their clients. Many were also unsure of their ability to access independent advocacy services and when it was permissible to do this. Nurse informants expressed a need for ongoing support and training in advocacy relating to The Human Rights Act (1998) and The Disability Discrimination Act (1995); and also specifically in relation to advocacy for clients within their own work area. Most nurses had definite ideas regarding how and by whom their advocacy education and training should be provided.

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