The long-awaited rollout of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism was officially launched in England this Tuesday (1 November).
The training, which passed into law in May this year as part of the Health and Care Act 2022, will educate and train health and social care staff, at the right level for their role, to provide better health and social care outcomes for people with a learning disability and autistic people.
The launch follows years of tireless campaigning by Oliver’s parents Tom and Paula McGowan, who have been at the forefront of calls for better understanding and training for health and care professionals since 18-year-old Oliver’s tragic death in 2016, as a result of being given antipsychotic medication.
Gloucestershire Health and Care formed one of four national partners appointed in 2021 to co-design and co-deliver the training as part of a national trial to develop a standardised training package. It will make a huge difference to people with a learning disability and autistic people with or without a learning disability, in accessing the help they need from the NHS and social care in a way that meets their needs effectively.
Paula McGowan, OBE, said: “I have been humbled to observe all health and care colleagues working collaboratively to strive for this change. There is more work to be done, but the journey has now started, and I truly believe we are on the right trajectory to achieve better health and care outcomes for neurodivergent people.
“We would like to thank Baroness Hollins and the Government for working together to deliver the commitment made in the 2019 consultation ‘Right to be Heard’ to make Oliver’s training mandatory. This training will save lives and ensure Oliver’s legacy lives on in the delivery of better health and care services for millions of autistic people and people with a learning disability.”
You can read more about Oliver’s story and the training here>