Mandatory Learning Disability Training for all Social Care Workers

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The government has confirmed today that every NHS and Social Care Worker will receive mandatory learning disability training relevant to their role.

The new training is backed by £1.4 million of government funding and will focus on:

  • understanding learning disability and autism
  • legislation and rights
  • making reasonable adjustments such as using different communication methods for autistic people with sensory sensitivities

As part of this, the government will run a series of trials next year to inform a wider roll-out of the training, which aims to improve quality of care and life expectancy.  

Work is already underway to deliver the training and testing will take place in a variety of health and social care settings to help shape how it will be rolled out and delivered in future.

The specially designed training will be named in memory of Oliver McGowan, in recognition of his family’s tireless campaigning for better training for staff. It will draw on case studies to demonstrate why it is so important.

The training announcement comes alongside a commitment by the Government that every inpatient with a learning disability or autism in a mental health hospital will have their case reviewed over the next 12 months.

As part of the review, the government will commit to providing each patient with a date for discharge, or where this is not appropriate, a clear explanation of why and a plan to move them closer towards being ready for discharge into the community, the health and social care secretary Matt Hancock announced today.

“For those living with learning disabilities and autistic people, the current system can leave them in isolation for long periods of time, with no prospect of release into the community.

“I am determined to put this right and today we are committing to reviewing the care of every patient with learning disability and autism over the next 12 months – alongside a clear plan to get them discharged back into their homes and communities. I have also asked for advice on separating out the law regarding those with learning disabilities and autism from the law regarding mental health.”

Matt Hancock also announced the creation of a new independent panel to oversee reviews for those in long-term segregation and support patients towards discharge.


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