References

BBC. Learning difficulties woman gets pregnancy choice. 2013. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-20975880 (accessed 22 March 2015)

Bernard S Parents with learning disabilities—The assessment of parenting ability. Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. 2007; 1:(3)14-7

Blackford K, Richardson H, Grieve S Prenatal education for mothers with disabilities. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2000; 32:(4)898-904

Norwich: The Stationery Office; 2003

Bernard S Social Care for Adults with Learning Disabilities. Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. 1992; 1:(3)14-7

London: The Stationery Office; 2001

London: The Stationery Office; 2004

London: The Stationery Office; 2010

Gibson T Pre-registration midwifery training: including learning disabilities. British Journal of Midwifery. 2007; 15:(10)625-9

Bristol University: Norah Fry Research Centre. 2013. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/norahfry (accessed 22 March 2015)

James N Supporting parents with a learning disability. Learning Disability Practice. 2010; 13:(2)12-7

McGaw S Practical Support for Parents with a Learning disability. ProQuest Education Journals. 1997; 12:(2)22-32

McGaw SEssex: Barnardo's; 2000

London: MENCAP; 2010

Glasgow and Clyde: NHS; 2010

Nottingham: Nottinghamshire County Council; 2010

Ovington S Telephone conversation regarding a recent referral from health visitors to health facilitator for 2 PWLD. 2013;

Porter KNottingham: NHS; 2013

Rubio-Mayer D Discussion with safeguarding regarding the statement that 75% of people with learning disabilities will have their children removed as a result of their learning disability. 2012;

Thurtle V, Nichols C, Gatt B Working with parents who have a learning disability. Community Practitioner. 2007; 80:(9)10-1

Ward L, Tarleton B Sinking or swimming? Supporting parents with learning disabilities and their children. Learning Disability Review. 2007; 12:(2)22-32

Antenatal support for people with learning disabilities

02 May 2015
11 min read
Volume 23 · Issue 5

Abstract

Following the introduction of learning disability nurses in acute and primary care in 2009, several health areas were taken into consideration as a priority for change. Maternity services were considered in order to bring this area into line with the other parts of the UK. This article will examine the provision of services for people with learning disabilities, and identify areas for improvement including educational needs for midwives. Outcomes of an audit and evaluations of local services against national policy and provision will be highlighted, barriers faced by both prospective parents with a learning disability and by professionals will be discussed and recommendations for future practice will be presented. Misleading diagnosis, discrepancies in numbers and training developments will also be addressed.

Despite Government policy identifying that ‘reasonable adjustment’ must be made when supporting parents with a learning disability, 23 midwives, team managers and health care assistants in midwifery services in Nottinghamshire have highlighted that there is little awareness in the field locally.

In 2013, it was estimated that 1 068 000 people in England had a degree of a learning disability (Public Heath England, 2013), yet there are no accurate records of the numbers of parents with a learning disability accessing services and estimates vary (McGaw, 1997). A major barrier to offering adequate support is the identification of parents with a learning disability. This can lead to a high proportion of parents with a learning disability having their children taken into care once born: in 2010, this figure was reported to be 60% (MENCAP, 2010). Achieving better patient care is the goal of all health professionals (Department of Health (DH), 2010). However, if the needs of this group are unknown, it is difficult to achieve effective patient-centred care within any health care setting, not just maternity services.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month