Blog

Opening job opportunities to people with a learning disability

The Director of the NHS Learning Disability Employment Programme introduces a new series of blogs which aims to share perspectives on employing people with a learning disability in the NHS. Over the next few months we’ll be posting blogs on a wide range of topics from employers, carers, and people with a learning disability who are employed in the NHS, with the aim of sharing best practice and helping others find solutions to employing people within their organisations:

The Programme started in summer 2015, with the intention of increasing the number of people with a learning disability employed in the NHS. This ambition developed from the Five Year Forward View vision for the NHS to lead the way as a progressive employer.

Since the start of the programme, we’ve produced tools and guidance to take employers through the journey of employing people with a learning disability. While this process may seem daunting, the guidance breaks down the steps to help NHS organisations remove barriers that they are facing locally.

We also hosted and participated in a wide range of events in 2015. Our three engagement events highlighted the practical steps that can be taken to employ people with a learning disability. With over 350 attendees from NHS organisations and charities, these events were a great success in spreading good practice and connecting the NHS to organisations that can provide support.

Similarly, we’ve attended NHS Expo 2015, the NHS Employers Diversity Conference 2015 and the British Association for Supported Employment annual conference, to showcase the mutual benefits of employing people with a learning disability – you may have met the team at one of these many events.

This year, we’ll be continuing to support NHS organisations to make quick progress in employing people with a learning disability.

We’ve had a brilliant response from organisations pledging their commitment to this ambition and we’ll now look to help these organisations turn these pledges into real jobs. We’ll be producing easy access guides on the common issues faced by employers, and we’ll continue to promote the practical steps that can be taken by organisations who would like to employ people with a learning disability.

We hope this blog series will shine a light on the different ways NHS organisations have employed people with a learning disability, as well as the positive impact that this has had on both the employee and organisation. We look forward to sharing their stories with you.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to check out the comprehensive tools and guidance available you can find more information on the NHS Employers website.

Find out more about pledging your organisation’s commitment.

Lela Kogbara

Lela Kogbara combines her role as Director of the NHS Learning Disability Employment Programme with being Assistant Chief Executive of Islington Council. She also undertakes voluntary leadership roles with City & Islington College, Action for Southern Africa, Bernie Grant Arts Centre, and Islington Community Theatre.