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A chapter in the history of nurse education: learning disability nursing and the Jay Report

Mitchell, Duncan (2003) A chapter in the history of nurse education: learning disability nursing and the Jay Report. Nurse education today, 23 (5). pp. 350-356. ISSN 0260-6917

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Abstract

This paper is a discussion of the Jay Report into mental handicap nursing and care that was published in 1979. Following a brief discussion of the report itself, the paper considers material from the period that was published in the nursing press. This material gives an insight into the way in which nurses reacted to Jay’s recommendation that mental handicap nursing be replaced with a professional grouping based on the Certificate in Social Services. Whilst this was not the first time that the continuation of mental handicap nursing had been questioned, it was the first occasion in which there was a public debate about the issue. Although the Jay Report was concerned with a minority of nurses it is argued that lessons can be drawn about nurse education generally. Conclusions are drawn about the way in which changes to nurse education and service need to be linked in order to be effective. Furthermore the discussion places the Jay Report within the broad political concerns of the day. It is argued that the report is a further example of the way in which change within nursing takes place when it corresponds with central government policy concerns.

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