It has been made available as the Department of Health and Social Care runs a consultation on its draft code of practice for the training.
The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training for Learning Disabilities and Autism was developed to help revolutionise training for those who work with and support individuals with learning disabilities and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Developed by the former Health Education England (recently merged with NHS England) and Skills for Care, it is the government’s preferred and recommended training route for CQC-registered providers to meet the new legislative requirement introduced by the Health and Care Act 2022.
A result of years of campaigning by Oliver McGowan’s family, the Health and Care Act 2022 requires all registered health and social care providers to ensure that all their staff receive training in learning disabilities and autism appropriate to their role.
Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training ‘vitally important’
Designed, delivered and evaluated with the help of people who have lived experience of learning disabilities and autism, the standardised Oliver McGowan training package provides health and care staff with the right skills and knowledge to provide safe, compassionate and informed care to individuals who have autism and/or a learning disability.
It includes training on how to interact and communicate appropriately with people who have autism and/or a learning disability.
Now, NHS England has released an animation which they have co-designed and co-produced with people with autism and people with a learning disability. Lasting 4.5 minutes, it is designed to help staff and employers across the health and social care sector understand the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training framework and why it is so vitally important.
NHS England says: “Together, we can prevent the many avoidable deaths like Oliver’s from happening again.”
Give your views on the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training Code of Practice
Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Social Care is inviting individuals and organisations to respond to their consultation on the draft Oliver McGowan code of practice on statutory learning disability and autism training.
Closing at 12pm on 19th September 2023, the consultation asks whether the draft code provides CQC-registered care providers with sufficient guidance to meet the legislative requirement to provide all staff with learning disability and autism training.
The views and feedback gathered from the consultation will inform the final version of the code to be laid out in Parliament.
When the draft code of practice was published in June this year, Maria Caulfield, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Mental Health and Women’s Health Strategy), said in its foreword:
“The introduction of the requirement for learning disability and autism training by the Health and Care Act 2022 and publication of this code of practice represent a significant moment in the journey towards improving the care and treatment of people with a learning disability and autistic people.
“I have heard from people with a learning disability and autistic people and their families and carers about how care is often not good enough and how this can lead to poorer health outcomes and, in some cases, premature death.
“Every person with a learning disability and autistic person has the right to excellent care and service from wherever they choose to access it. Services must treat people equitably but should also acknowledge and adapt to the individual needs of people with a learning disability and autistic people.”
She added that all care providers “will need to demonstrate to the CQC how their training meets or exceeds the standards set out in this code of practice.”
Oliver’s training to bring meaningful improvement in care
As an infant, Oliver McGowan suffered from meningitis and later received diagnoses of mild hemiplegia, focal partial epilepsy, a mild learning disability and high-functioning autism.
As he grew up, Oliver experienced seizures and was hospitalised several times.
Despite having no diagnosis of psychosis or any other mental health disorder, Oliver was, on a number of occasions during his stays in hospital, physically restrained and given antipsychotic medication. He reacted badly to this medication.
Oliver tragically died on 11th November 2016, aged just 18, after the antipsychotic medication was once again administered to him despite medical staff being told repeatedly by both Oliver and his parents that he had suffered adverse reactions to it in the past.
Following his death, Oliver’s family campaigned for years to see meaningful improvements made in healthcare for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.
Delivering Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training
First Response Training (FRT), as a dedicated national training provider, is proud to be one of the first training providers to be able to offer the official Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training for Learning Disabilities and Autism.
The only standardised training package guaranteed to meet the requirements laid out in the code of practice, it incorporates two tiers of training for different staff roles, and FRT can deliver both with a trio of qualified trainers. An experienced subject matter trainer will lead delivery, supported by a person with autism and a person with a learning disability, both known as Experts by Lived Experience.
As Maria Caulfield explained:
“The training is named in Oliver’s memory, in recognition of his story, his family’s tireless campaigning for better training for staff, and to remember him and others whose lives were cut tragically short.”
She also set out how the package “represents and clearly demonstrates the standard that the government expects training in this area to meet as set out in further detail in this code of practice.”
“The training has been trialled with over 8,000 participants and independently evaluated to ensure the final package is robust and high quality.
“Most importantly, people with a learning disability and autistic people have been involved throughout the development, trial, evaluation and now delivery of the training, ensuring that personal experience is always reflected. Co-production and co-delivery are at the heart of the training, and this is what sets Oliver’s training apart.”