Positive Choices Conference 2014 inspires learning disability nurses for years to come

300514_neesha_oozageer_gunowa On 20 and 21 March more than 750 learning disability nursing students from Universities around the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland convened at The Rose Theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames to attend the 10th Annual Positive Choices Learning Disability Student Nurse Conference, hosted by Kingston University and St George’s, University of London. Key professionals and service users also joined the event to celebrate excellence in learning disability nursing practice.

The event was celebrated by eminent stakeholders including the Right Hon. Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, Baroness Shelia Hollins, The Mayor of The Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames Councillor Penny Shelton, Professor Julius Weinberg, Vice Chancellor, Kingston University, Cecilia Anim, The Vice President of the Royal College of Nursing, Professors Fiona Ross and Ruth Norway.

The Right Hon. Norman Lamb greeted students and presented a keynote speech about the important role learning disability nursing has in empowering people with a learning disability to achieve their fullest potential and to ensure that their health care needs are identified and addressed. The Right Hon. Norman Lamb also announced a review of Community Learning Disability Nursing.

Act Too, part of The Baked Bean Theatre Company delivered an outstanding performance educating the audience about their interpretation of “The Six C’s of nursing” with some excellent suggestions for service improvement. MiXiT took to the stage and illuminated the audience with their musical and hard hitting performance.

Helen Laverty, the coordinator of Positive Choices – the overarching organisation that facilitates Universities to co-host the event each year – said the event hosted by Kingston and St George’s was one of the best ever held.

“Having the Right Hon. Norman Lamb attend the event goes to show that learning disability nursing is key to our health care system. Kingston and St George’s were outstanding hosts and, with over 750 attending the event, it was the largest gathering of learning disability student nurses to date, “Helen said.

Principal Lecturer in Learning Disability Nursing Trish Griffin at Kingston and St George’s said the universities were proud to host the 10th Anniversary Conference. “The legacy of the Conference will be to inspire both current and future generations of Registered Learning Disability Nurses, and clearly cementing the future of the profession,” Trish said.