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Death of autistic teenager after parents wishes ignored prompts mandatory training for NHS staff

Every NHS and social care worker in England will have to undergo mandatory training on autism and learning disability following the death of a teenager, the government has said.

Eighteen-year-old Oliver McGowan, who had autism, died in November 2016 after being given anti-psychotic medication against his own and his parents’ wishes by staff at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital, part of the North Bristol NHS Trust. Oliver’s medical records showed he had an intolerance to anti-psychotic drugs and shortly after he was given the dose he developed severe brain swelling and died.

His parents Paula and Tom McGowan have been campaigning for improved training for health and care staff and ministers have now backed their calls with new pilots and £1.4m of funding.

The new training will be named after Oliver and will start next year, with the aim to improve care for people with autism and learning disabilities using case studies and ensuring all staff understand the needs of patients with learning disabilities and autism.

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Source: Independent, 5 November 2019


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