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Health Education England leaders send messages of support for Oliver’s campaign

24 July 2020

Health Education England’s Chief Nurse, Professor Mark Radford and Regional Director for the South East, Philippa Spicer have become the latest influential healthcare leaders to pen supportive testimonials for Oliver’s campaign.  

They join other influential leaders who have shown their support for the campaign that was set up by campaigner Paula McGowan following the sad death of her son Oliver. Oliver’s death highlighted the need for healthcare staff to have better access to training that offers a greater understanding of the conditions and will help improve their skills and confidence when delivering care.   

Paula campaigned for mandatory training in learning disability and autism for all healthcare staff.    

Her efforts have paid off and there will be mandatory training for all health and social care staff which will be known as The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism in honour of her late son. 

Last week Health Education England announced the partners who had been selected to design, develop, trial and evaluate the training. 


Professor Radford’s message:  

Paula and her family have campaigned tirelessly and supported better awareness through sharing Oliver’s story to really make a difference to people with learning disabilities and autistic people. It’s thanks to them that we’ve been able to reach a point where The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism will be compulsory for health and social care staff. This is a vital and important step towards making sure that health and care professionals have the appropriate skills to understand the needs of service users and ensure that they and their families receive the best quality care.

Philippa Spicer’s message 

Listening to Paula share her son Oliver’s story is heartbreaking. Her steadfast campaigning will mean that other families can avoid the painful experience that the McGowans have had to go through. The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism means that all health and social care staff will receive training that will provide them with the right skills to understand the needs of autistic people and people with learning disabilities. This is a positive step forward and one that is thanks to Paula’s passion and determination to be a force for change.

To see the messages of support go to: https://www.olivermcgowan.org/messages-of-support