Mandatory training on learning disability and autism launched

An innovative programme to assist health and care staff caring and supporting people with a learning disability and autism has been launched.

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training programme is named after Oliver McGowan, who died in 2016 after being given antipsychotic medication, despite a warning that it was unsuitable for him.

The programme’s launch follows a campaign by Oliver’s mother Paula to make training on caring for people with a learning disability and autistic people mandatory for all health and care staff. 

It has been developed in partnership with Health Education England, Department for Health and Social Care, Skills for Care and NHS England, and is ready for staff across the health and care sector to access today. 

Steve Barclay, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “Thanks to the campaigning and determination of Paula McGowan, from today health and social care staff will begin to have access to The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training, to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to better meet the care and support needs of people with a learning disability and autistic people.  

“What happened to Oliver was a tragedy – this training is a vital next step to address existing health inequalities for autistic people and people with a learning disability, providing them with the right care and support in health and care settings.” 

Oonagh Smyth, chief executive of Skills for Care, said: “The launch of the elearning package for the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is an important development in helping people access essential training and help reduce inequalities for people with learning disability and autistic people. We have been working collaboratively with partners to ensure that this training package means people who work in health and social care are equipped and feel confident in supporting people with a learning disability and autistic people.”

For more information on the programme, click here.

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