Spirituality and learning disability: a review of UK Government guidance

Precious Nonye Sango (PhD candidate, based at The Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Rachel Forrester-Jones (Reader in Health, Community & Social Care, based at The Tizard Centre, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)

Tizard Learning Disability Review

ISSN: 1359-5474

Publication date: 30 September 2014



Despite spirituality being a key aspect of quality of life, it appears to remain a low-priority area for social and health care government policy. The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe what, if at all, UK policy says about spirituality in relation to the care of people with learning disabilities (LD).


A systematic policy review using three government databases: legislation.gov.uk; Department of Health and Directgov (now known as gov.uk) was carried out.


The review identified policy gaps and a general lack of government directives in relation to the spiritual care of people with LD. Whilst research in this area is gathering momentum, practical implementation which makes a real difference to the spiritual experiences of people with LD appears to be sparse.


To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first systematic policy review on this subject area, highlighting the need for spirituality to become a more supported aspect of social care within LD services.



Nonye Sango, P. and Forrester-Jones, R. (2014), "Spirituality and learning disability: a review of UK Government guidance", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 170-177. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-01-2014-0005

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