Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Consultation for Oliver McGowan Code of Practice statutory training launched

The government has launched a consultation on the Oliver McGowan Code of Practice on statutory learning disability and autism training for health and care staff.

The draft guidance outlines how health and care providers who are Care Quality Commission-registered can meet the new legislative requirement to ensure staff receive training on learning disabilities and autism appropriate to their role.

It outlines the standards that training on learning disabilities and autism must meet to comply with the legislation from the Health and Care Act 2022, and guidance on how providers can meet those standards.

Minister of State for Health, Maria Caulfield, said: “People with a learning disability and autistic people deserve care that is personalised to them, and it’s important for staff to have the right skills to provide this.

“We want as many people as possible to contribute to this consultation so that we can continue working towards a society where everyone knows their needs will be met when they walk into a hospital or care setting.”

Parents have campaigned for better training

The training is named after Oliver McGowan, a young autistic teenager with a mild learning disability who sadly died after having a severe reaction to medication given to him against his and his family’s strong wishes.

Oliver’s parents, Paula and Tom McGowan, have campaigned for better training for health and care staff to improve understanding of the needs of people with a learning disability or autistic people.

Paula McGowan OBE & Tom McGowan, said: “The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism has set the standards in the Oliver McGowan Code of Practice. The launch of the consultation is a significant milestone on improving health and care outcomes and is an essential step in ensuring that people who have a learning disability and autistic people receive appropriate and timely access to meet their health and care needs.”

The government welcomes the views of all interested individuals and groups to provide their views on the draft Code.

Running for 12 weeks, ending 19 September, it seeks views on the draft Code’s content. Government will then consider responses before laying the revised Code in Parliament.

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