Keele celebrates 100 Years of learning disability nursing

2019 marks 100 years of learning disability nursing in the UK, and students and staff at Keele University are celebrating this milestone of supporting people with learning disabilities to have a more independent healthy life.

As part of the national celebrations, the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Keele University is holding an event on Tuesday 26 February welcoming local and national speakers from the field of learning disability nursing.
Learning disability nurses play a vital role working across the whole lifespan in health, social and care settings, and children identified as having a learning disability are now living longer, more fulfilled lives into adolescence, adulthood and older age.

Keele’s School of Nursing and Midwifery has worked with local people with learning disabilities, learning disability nurses and students to produce a mosaic plaque with local ceramicist Philip Hardaker, which will be unveiled at the event.

Sue Read, Professor of Learning Disability Nursing at Keele’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “People with a learning disability continue to teach us so much about what it’s like to live with a learning disability in contemporary society. We are delighted to mark this 100 years celebratory event by welcoming visitors including people with a learning disability, families, students, academics, local dignitaries and clinicians, to join us in recognising this remarkable achievement. Learning disability nurses are proud of what they do, and we are so proud to have played a part in helping them to become learning disability nurses.”

Louise Cogher, Professional Lead for Learning Disability at Keele’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “The field of learning disability nursing has attracted debate since 1919. This event is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate 100 years of being certificated and registered nurses, joining together to demonstrate our continued commitment to improving the lives of people with a learning disability now and in the future.”

Marking the 100th anniversary, Keele’s Learning Disability academic team has also embarked on research to find the first learning disability nurses for Stallington Hospital, to join them in their celebrations. The British Psychological Society Archives has identified the following people who gained registered nurse status in 1944: Phyllis H Johnson; Helena Sargent; Lillian Fletcher; Mary Bridget O’Shaughnessy; Winifred Joyce Davenport; Anne Atkins; Agnes Lilly Campbell, and Julia Astle.

If these individuals or their families would like to celebrate 100 years of learning disability nursing with Keele’s School of Nursing and Midwifery please contact Dale Nixon on 01782 679509 or email