Employing people in the NHS with learning disabilities

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NHS Employers has partnered with NHS England to provide a range of tools and guidance to encourage and support health organisations to increase their recruitment of people with learning disabilities. 

The aim of the tools and guidance is to raise awareness, highlight good practice, break down the barriers that both employers and potential employees may face, and create a culture that welcomes people with learning disabilities. 

Make a pledge

We are inviting organisations to make a pledge to demonstrate their commitment to employing people with learning disabilities, find out how to make your pledge.

Tools and guidance

The tools and guidance are structured around five building blocks which will take an employer or manager through the process of recruiting and employing someone with a learning disability.

Learning disability employment building blocks

Getting started Being an accessible employer Identifying real jobs Advertising and recruitment Employment 
  • making the case
  • external support
  • Equality Act 2010
  • communicating
  • training
  • support

  • where do I start?
  • entry routes to employment

  • advertising
  • accessible applications
  • pre-employment checks

  • induction
  • monitoring
  • staff survey adjustments

For more information download the full NHS learning disabilities tools and guidance and the easy read NHS England tools and guidance

We recommend that you also read the following resources which include an Employers Guide to Supported Employment, Employers Guide to Supported Employment Executive Summary, Employers Roadmap.


During February and March 2019 we held two webinars which were facilitated by the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) to help support NHS organisations to employ more people with a learning disability. The webinars included a number of case studies which highlighted how some organisations have supported people with learning disabilities into employment, if you missed them you can watch them via the links below:

Resources to help with the recruitment process

NHS England's learning disability engagement team has also created the following resources to help with various aspects of the recruitment process:

Take a look at an infographic explaining why you should employ more people with learning disabilities.  

Disability Matters have developed an e-learning resource I can we can which outlines the importance of work experience for people with learning difficulties.  

Government Digital Service

The Government Digital Service accessibility team has also published a series of guides on making it easier to build digital services that are accessible for everyone. These include an introduction to making your service accessible and a guide to testing for accessibility.

For more information visit the Government Digital Service website

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