This book examines the role of the professional healthcare worker in intellectual disability in the current climate where health promotion and person centeredness have come together as being the primary determinants for quality services. The book is much influenced by the resurgence of interest in healthcare practice which may have been somewhat ignored in the UK in the past twenty years. The book has four sections; the first and perhaps most significant examines models of care in learning disability in some detail. Five models of service provision are described three of which are nursing models. Each model offers a unique perspective on how care might be framed. Of most interest is chapter one which examines a synthesised model of ‘Person-centred Planning’ and Roper, Logan and Tierney’s ‘Element of Nursing’. Such a fusion might be thought cumbersome however the chapter explains how such a model works. This is important because Roper, Logan and Tierney’s work is still very influential in Ireland. The second section looks at advanced practice in learning disability nursing; two areas are considered that of nurse prescribing and also acute liaison nursing where nurses form a supportive link between the person with intellectual disability and the acute hospital service that he or she uses. The differing statutory and structural approaches to service provision across the four countries of the United Kingdom are examined in the chapters of the third section. A separate section on Ireland offers a very concise but clear analysis of how services are provided in this country. The chapter would benefit from a deeper analysis of how the voluntary sector interfaces with those services provided directly by the Health Service Executive however excepting this it is to be recommended for it’s incisive coverage of a complex topic. The last section looks at risk assessment, managerial matters and professional development in the field and again offers a workmanlike introduction to these subjects.
In short this book is a useful summary of where care practice stands at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. It is largely focused on healthcare at the expense of emphasising person centeredness, that may be more necessary in the UK than here in Ireland where the health focus has never been lost. However as a result this book chimes well with healthcare practice on the ground in Ireland it will be of interest to nurses, social and healthcare workers and all who are concerned with developing practice in healthcare support for people with intellectual disability.