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Home / Oliver McGowan Trial – Training in Learning Disability and Autism

Oliver McGowan Trial – Training
in Learning Disability and Autism

This training trial is for health and social care staff
in England. 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.

What is Oliver McGowan Training in LD and Autism?

This training is named after Oliver McGowan, whose death shone a light on the need for health and social care staff to have better training in learning disabilities and autism.

It is part of a national commitment to develop a standardised training package and Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust (GHC) was one of four national partners appointed to co-design and co-deliver the training for groups of health and social care staff as part of a national pilot.

The project team comprises:

All of the training is fully co-designed and co-delivered with people with learning disabilities, autistic people with or without a learning disability, family carers and people working within learning disability and autism services.

At this stage we are hoping to train a cross section of staff from all sectors. We welcome feedback on the content and delivery of the training, as this will help us shape the development of the final training package, which will become mandatory across England in 2022.

The trial will be launched in Gloucestershire on Thursday 1 April 2021. While attendance is NOT mandatory at this time, we would very much encourage health and social care colleagues to take part. Your feedback will influence the development of the mandatory package, which will be informed by results from this and the other three national trials.

You can find out more about the other national partners here.

Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism is the result of tireless campaigning, especially from 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 Oliver’s tragic death in 2016.

About the training

Tier 1

Tier 1 entails two hours of online activity including viewing an information film and attending a 30-minute live webinar. It is relevant to all staff working in any sector who may occasionally interact with people with a learning disability and/or autism, but who do not have responsibility for providing direct care or making decisions about care or support.

Tier 2

Tier 2 is a live hybrid event for which you can book a physical or online place. It is co-delivered by an Expert by Experience, a family carer and a professional person working within a learning disability service.

This whole-day event is relevant to health and social care staff and others with responsibility for providing care and support for people with autism or a learning disability, but who would seek support from others for complex management or complex decision making.

Provisional training dates for Tier 2

Gloucester locality

  • 9 June 2021
  • 23 June 2021
  • 20 October 2021
  • 18 November 2021

Stroud locality

  • 7 July 2021
  • 19 August 2021

Cheltenham locality

  • 22 September 2021
  • 28 October 2021
  • 25 November 2021

Forest locality

  • 15 September 2021
  • 13 October 2021
More dates to be announced when booking officially launched.

If you have any questions, please contact OliverMGMT@ghc.nhs.uk


Further information


  • Skills for Care
    is coordinating all enquiries about the trials and evaluation, on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care and Health Education England. Visit their website here


Frequently Asked Questions

Booking on to the training

Health and social care staff

You can book a place via your Proud to Learn account with Gloucestershire County Council

If you do not have a Proud to Learn account please email proudtolearn@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Gloucestershire Health and Care employees

If you work for Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust you can access via your learning profile on Care to Learn