Oliver McGowan training: nurses’ views sought on code of practice
Consultation begins on mandatory learning disability and autism training programme code of practice, designed to support healthcare professionals’ legal compliance
A consultation has begun on how a mandatory training programme on learning disability and autism for nurses will be delivered.
A draft code of practice published in June follows a long campaign by the family of autistic teenager Oliver McGowan who died in 2016 after being given antipsychotic medication despite warnings they were unsuitable for him.
Oliver’s parents Paula and Tom McGowan have been campaigning for mandatory training for healthcare staff in England, because they say their son’s autism and learning disability was misunderstood while he was in hospital.
Oliver McGowan code of practice will set out standards for nurses and other staff groups
While the national Oliver McGowan mandatory training programme began 1 November 2022, the code of practice will outline the training standards staff must meet to comply with the legislation. The consultation runs until 19 September and invites the views of nurses and other stakeholders.
‘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,’ said the McGowans said in a joint statement.
The training comes in tiers, with a 90-minute e-learning module for tier 1 compulsory for all staff. Further tiers will be compulsory for nurses and other staff who may need to provide direct care and support for autistic people or people with a learning disability.
Employers should support staff training to ensure appropriate care for vulnerable patient groups
NHS England national director for learning disability and autism Tom Cahill urged all health and care employers to contribute to the consultation.
‘This is a significant step towards improving awareness, knowledge and skills of all health and care staff in looking after and supporting people with a learning disability and autistic people,’ he said.
‘The Oliver McGowan mandatory training on learning disability and autism will ensure people with a learning disability and autistic people receive the right levels of care and support that meet their individual needs.
‘We ask that all health and care employers take part in this consultation – and ensure their staff get the appropriate training they need through the e-learning, interactive and face-to-face training sessions.’Take part in the consultation
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