Learning Disability Liaison Nurses

The Learning Disability Liaison Nurse Service works with people 16 years or over with learning disabilities who have support from a Community Learning Disabilities Team.

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

Image linking to the LD Liaison Team video

Watch more about the Learning Disability Service on YouTube:



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 and/or autism if they have complex needs. This will need to 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.

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 Easy Read Posters: www.photosymbols.com/blogs/news/coronavirus-poster-set

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)