About the network

We adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to quality improvement in community learning disability services. A key component of our work is the sharing of best practice by listening to and being led by frontline staff and service users.

We serve to identify areas for improvement through a culture of openness and enquiry. The model is one of engagement rather than inspection. We aim to facilitate quality improvement through a supportive network and peer-review process.

This membership option works on an annual basis and is ideal for services that are new to QNLD and for services who would like to familiarise themselves with the QNLD standards in order to take action on areas of improvement before opting for an accreditation membership.

Members will complete a self-review, and will receive a peer-review visit which will focus on quality improvement rather than accreditation.

Once the service has completed their self-review, they will host a peer review day where multidisciplinary staff members from other member services visit the unit with a patient or carer representative and a member of the QNLD project team.

The peer-review team will meet with staff, people with learning disabilities and carers throughout the day and will review the host team against the relevant standards.

During these meetings, the results of the self-review are validated and there is an opportunity for all staff to share good practice and ideas for development.

The day also includes an open discussion session on an area of practice that the host unit would like to improve on. Following the visit, the project team provide the service with a report summarising their performance against the standards and the discussions on the day. The service can then create an action plan to address any improvements that have been suggested.

All new QNLD members are required to complete at least one (one-year) developmental review cycle before undertaking accreditation.

The accreditation membership option works as a more comprehensive process of both the self and peer review and is a three-year cycle. This membership option is ideal for services that are familiar with the QNLD standards and services which have previously been through the developmental or accreditation process. 

Services will complete a self-review on all standards, as well as collecting data from people with learning disabilities, carers and staff teams and auditing their clinical notes. A peer-review visit will then take place and will cover all sections of the standards whilst meeting with groups of staff, patients and carers. 

Following a peer-review visit, services will be reviewed by the QNLD accreditation committee who will decide on a service's accreditation status.

  • Membership demonstrates a commitment to providing the highest level of care to service users.
  • Member services receive year-round support from the QNLD Project Team.
  • The network provides an annual forum and additional learning events. These can count towards staff members continuing professional development.
  • Peer reviews provide the opportunity to visit similar units and share ideas.
  • The network supports an online peer discussion group.
  • The process provides evidence to support CQC inspections and other regulatory processes:
"We had had difficulties with our CQC inspection in 2015 and required improvement. During the most recent CQC inspection, inspectors felt there were some substantial progress. We informed them of the recent QNLD involvement and they reported that it was clear that the input had made a big difference to the environment and leadership of the unit. Most of the standards used by QNLD were very similar to the ones used by CQC, hence the real impact observed. We have this week received the results of the inspection and the unit was rated as outstanding." – QNLD Member Service

QNLD membership costs £2,780 (+VAT). If you sign up for three years of membership at a cost of £7,920 (+VAT), you save 5% and ensure your membership cost is frozen for the duration. To join, please fill out the joining form.

The QNLD process is managed and governed by several staff and committees.

Advisory Group (AG)

The advisory group comprises professionals who represent key interests and areas of expertise in the field of inpatient and community learning disability services alongside service users and carers who have experience of using these services. The purpose of the group is to advise and further the work of QNLD.

The advisory group comprises a minimum of 6 members and a maximum of 15 members. The membership will aim to reflect the range of disciplines working in inpatient and community learning disability services.

Project team

The project team look after the day to day running of the network including liaising with services, collecting data and arranging reviews and events.

If you have any questions, please email us at L.D@rcpsych.ac.uk

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