USW hosts Positive Choices Conference

April 16, 2015

Some of the UK’s top experts and organisations in the field of Learning Disability Nursing will attend the annual Positive Choices conference, this year hosted by the University of South Wales, at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on 16-17 April 2015.

Welsh Government Health Minister, Professor Mark Drakeford AM, will be among the keynote speakers.

Pauline Heslop, who was the lead researcher for the Confidential Inquiry into Premature Deaths of People with Learning Disabilities, and Hayley Goleniowska, mum to Natty who has Down’s Syndrome, and award-winning writer for her blog, ‘Downs Side Up’, will also address the conference.

“As the mother of a little girl with Down’s syndrome I am enormously proud to have been asked to join in this important event,” said Hayley.

“I believe passionately in the role of learning disability nurses, and by working together at Positive Choices we can ensure a better future for our children.

“I consider myself very lucky to be a part of such a team, creating real change for those with a learning disability. If sharing our experiences can help just one professional, then attending has been more than worthwhile.”

Ruth Northway, Professor of Learning Disability Nursing at the University of South Wales, is part of the conference organising team:

“We’re expecting 400 student nurses from across the UK and Ireland to attend this conference, which is being hosted in Wales for the first time.

“The University of South Wales is one of only two in Wales that offers the course that prepares students to become Registered Nurses (Learning Disabilities).

“We have seen our student numbers increase over the past three years, and job prospects for students upon qualifying are very positive.”

The conference is called ‘Positive Choices’ to reflect the fact that all of the students who attend have made a positive choice to work within this particular field of nursing practice.

Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education at the University of South Wales, Dr Martin Steggall, said:

“This is a prestigious and very important annual conference and I am personally proud that the University is hosting it, and professionally honoured to be invited to speak.

“Learning Disability Nursing is a key part of the University’s life sciences courses and our graduates leave us with the skills to help people live independent and fulfilling lives.

“I look forward to hearing what the other speakers have to say and to meet some truly inspiring people during the course of the conference.”

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