Learning Disability Liaison Nurses

The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse Service are employed by Sirona Care & Health and work with people with learning disabilities who have support from any Community Learning Disabilities Team and are 16 years old or over.

If you (or someone you care for) are coming to hospital, for any reason, let us know and we can help and support you.


We will be running an expanded service due to the coronavirus pandemic. The hospital learning disability liaison nurses will be working 7 days a week. We will also be expanding our working hours to support people with a learning disability and autism who are admitted to hospital with COVID-19. We will also have a Learning Disability Nurse working daily with A&E staff to offer support with sharing careplans and assist with decision making process, ensuring Mental Capacity Act is adhered to.

If you have been asked to come into hospital with suspected COVID-19 (a new persistent cough or fever), please complete a COVID-19 Passport for people with learning disabilities and bring it in with you to hospital, along with your hospital passport.


How to get help


As soon as you (or someone you care for) comes into hospital, or has been given an appointment, please call us on 0117 414 1239 and leave a message, or email us on learningdisabilities@nbt.nhs.uk. We will talk to you about how we can help make your appointment or stay in hospital easier and more comfortable.

For more information about how we can help please download this leaflet.

We recommend that every person with a learning disability complete a hospital passport. Click here for our blank template: LD hospital passport.docx


You can send hospital passports to learningdisabilities@nbt.nhs.uk (If able, please encrypt your email to ensure that is it secure). We will then put it on your hospital file with an alert and make sure that the ward have a copy.


Visitors to Southmead Hospital


Visitors are not currently permitted in Southmead Hospital.

We understand that it may be very difficult for patients with learning disabilities and autism to come into hospital without family, friends or carers. Exceptions can be made for some people with learning disabilities &/or autism if they have complex needs, but this needs to be agreed with the managers/matrons of the wards.

It is vital that people with learning disabilities and autism have up to date hospital passports so that hospital staff know how to best support the person when their usual carers are not present. Please also make sure that the person brings in any important guidelines or protocols (e.g. epilepsy protocols, eating and drinking guidelines, positive behaviour plans etc).

The learning disability team can help support patients with learning disabilities, and have resources to help distract and calm patients, for example:

  • Bags of calm
  • Hospital communication books
  • Sensory lights
  • Music
  • Arts and craft materials

We can also try and offer to video call family members and carers, to help with contact and familiarity (when equipment available).

In very special circumstances, if the person gets very distressed or upset in hospital and less restrictive practices have been exhausted, sedation may be required in hospital to ensure the safety of the patient/staff /others and to ensure they get the treatment they require. But this is only as a last resort.


Discharge from Hospital

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, once a person is medically fit for discharge it is expected that they will be discharged from hospital within one hour. If the person is still Covid + but stable, it is recommended that they are supported back home, if deemed safe to do so. If the person lives in a care home, this discharge will be assessed on a case by case scenario, dependant on the health and care needs of the individual, and that of others they live with. These needs are best discussed with the nurse in charge and clinical case manager allocated to the ward.

On discharge from hospital, we will make the local Community Learning Disability Team aware that you have been discharged, to ensure appropriate support and advice can be provided if necessary.


Contact details for wards


Please use the North Bristol Trust contact page for ward contact numbers.


External resources


NHS 111: 111.nhs.uk/covid-19

Public Health England Easy Read Advice: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874281/COVID-19_easy_read.pdf

Mencap Coronavirus resources: www.mencap.org.uk/advice-and-support/health/coronavirus-covid-19

Photosymbols/ Keep Safe Easy Read Posters: https://www.keepsafe.org.uk/posters

Advice about the coronavirus easy read: www.easy-read-online.co.uk/media/53192/advice-on-the-coronavirus-v1.pdf

Leeds Teaching Hospital have developed some amazing Easy Read leaflets (e.g. swabbing, wearing an oxygen mask): www.leedsth.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/patient-and-visitor-information/patient-information-leaflets/easy-read

Easy Read information about swab tests: Easy Read - swab.pdf (Opendoor Photosymbols/JPUH)

Easy read information about use of PPE in hospital: Easy Read - PPE.pdf  (Photosymbols)



Contact The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse Service

Telephone: 0117 4141239
Email: learningdisabilities@nbt.nhs.uk

The service currently has extended operating hours to respond to COVID-19. 

8am – 6pm Monday to Friday
8am – 4pm weekends