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Learning disability training for all nurses set to be mandated in law

Members of the House of Lords have passed an amendment to the Health and Care Bill to enshrine mandatory training for health and care staff on learning disabilities and autism in law.

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disabilities and Autism programme is being developed by Health Education England in partnership with organisations such as Skills for Care and the Department of Health and Social Care, and alongside Oliver’s family.

“It means that organisations have no choice but to free up their staff to attend this training”

The training is named after Oliver whose death shone a light on the need for health and social care staff to have better training on learning disabilities and autism, and has been campaigned for by his parents Paula and Tom McGowan who believe his death was avoidable.

The 18-year-old, who had mild hemiplegia, focal partial epilepsy, a mild learning disability and high-functioning autism, died in November 2016 after he was given antipsychotic medication even though he and his family warned it could be harmful to him.

Following campaigning efforts and a consultation on training proposals for health and care staff, in November 2019, the government committed to developing a standardised training package. It draws on existing best practice, the expertise of people with autism, people with a learning disability and family carers and subject matter experts.

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Source: Nursing Times, 18 March 2022


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