Government commits to providing learning disability training for all NHS staff
The Government has this week committed to providing learning disability training for NHS staff.
It follows the recent publication of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review, which sets out a number of recommendations about how to ensure that NHS staff understand learning disability better and how they can support individuals’ needs.
As part of this report, the Government said it will work on plans to make learning disability training mandatory across all NHS departments.
Commenting on the announcement, the National Autistic Society (NAS) said, historically, people with a learning disability, as well as other conditions such as autism, struggle to get the care they need due to a lack of understanding and changes to communication and support.
“In far too many cases, we have seen the tragic results of the NHS’ failure to understand people with a learning disability – approximately a third of whom are also autistic. Today’s announcement is a welcome step towards making sure that people are not put at unnecessary risk when they need help from the NHS,” said Mark Lever, Chief Executive of NAS.
“Understanding autism and learning disability is the foundation of good health care and could make a difference to hundreds of thousands of lives. The National Autistic Society believes now is the time for Government and NHS England to make a change for the 600,000 autistic people in England and their families.”
The announcement follows the NHS’s recent commitment to focus on autism and learning disabilities over the next 10 year period. Under this plan, the health service said it will engage with organisations, professionals and individuals to identify key issues with the support currently provided.
The latest figures show that autism affects around one in every 100 people in England, with around 700,000 individuals diagnosed nationwide.