Recommendations aimed at bolstering learning disability nursing have been have been set out by the four UK chief nursing officers (CNOs).
The Strengthening the Commitment report calls for a clearer career framework for learning disability nurses, better collaboration between the UK health departments and a focus on improving education and training.
'As a result of changes in societal attitudes to people with learning disabilities and to their care, learning disabilities nurses have become geographically dispersed within a range of public and independent sector providers and are employed in a variety of roles,' the report says.
There are currently 1.5 million people in the UK with a learning disability, but that figure is expected to increase 14 per cent by 2021.
Scotland CNO Ros Moore, who led on the report, said: 'There has been a lack of focus and direction for learning disabilities nursing, fragmentation of the learning disabilities nursing community ... at a time when demand is likely to increase.'