Mandatory training for all health and social care staff who support patients with learning disabilities and autism moved a step closer today with the announcement of the partners who will design, develop trial and evaluate the training.
The training is named after Oliver McGowan whose sad death shone a light on the need for health and social care 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. Oliver’s mum Paula McGowan led a campaign for more training.
It will formally be known as The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism.
In 2019, the government set out their commitment to mandatory training in their consultation response in 'Right to be heard’. This was in response to recommendations made in the second annual Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) report.
Health Education England, Skills for Care and the Department of Health and Social care have selected British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD), Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Mencap Society/National Autistic Society and Pathways Associates CIC and the National Development Team for inclusion have been selected as the evaluation partner.
Mark Radford, Chief Nurse, Heath Education England said:
This is a vital and important step in the journey to deliver new training for health and social care employees in support of services users and families. I would like to put on record my thanks to everyone who put forward bids and the selection panels for their time and expertise. We had a positive response to our search for partners - with 27 partnerships representing over 200 organisations submitting proposals for the trials and five for the evaluation.
I am grateful for Paula McGowan and many others who have campaigned tirelessly and supported raising the important need for greater education and training of health and care staff in Learning disability and Autism. There are too many examples where experiences and outcomes of services users and families needs to improve and part of this has to be greater awareness and training of our staff.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said:
Oliver’s story is heart-breaking and I wholeheartedly support Paula’s campaign to make sure no other family faces what she has had to endure.
And that’s why I am proud to be responsible for taking forward the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training programme, so all health and social care staff will receive training in learning disabilities and autism to provide them with the confidence and skills to understand the needs of those in their care.
This training must be developed and delivered hand in hand with those who have learning disabilities and autistic people, so we can tackle bias and unconscious attitudes, and promote a positive culture of care.
Oliver’s mum Paula McGowan said:
I have always said that I believed Oliver’s death could have been avoided and that better training for healthcare staff might have made all the difference.
I am extremely pleased to see that the new training is now coming closer to being a reality. I am proud that it will carry Oliver’s name and I hope it ensures that in future everyone with learning disabilities and autism gets access to the levels of high quality care that they need and deserve.