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Healthcare staff to get mandatory learning disability training

Healthcare staff to get mandatory learning disability training
By Valeria Fiore Reporter
29 October 2018

The Government is consulting on options to deliver mandatory learning disability awareness training to NHS and social care staff.

Responding to the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme’s report published in May, the Government said that it will endorse all of the report’s recommendations, including the provision of mandatory training to staff.

People with experience of learning disabilities, NHS staff, social care providers and the wider public will be asked for their view, to make sure that the proposals for the training are effective and to discourage  any training from falling into a ‘box-ticking exercise’, the Government wrote in its response published yesterday.

The consultation process will be completed by March 2019.

Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: ‘We will consult on expanding learning disability awareness training so that health and care staff are better equipped to provide compassionate and informed care.’

The LeDeR report found that in some cases staff lacked awareness of the needs of people with learning disabilities, for example when they could not easily access a record of the patient’s needs or were unaware of the importance to give them full annual health checks.

Immediate action

Employers are ‘in principle’ required to ensure that staff dealing with people with learning difficulties is rightly equipped with the skills necessary to look after them, the Government said.

However, the LeDeR report showed that this is not always the case, which encouraged the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England to take immediate action to remind employers of their responsibilities when it comes to staff training.

Once it is introduced, the Care Quality Commission will be tasked with monitoring the uptake of the training, the Government specified.

Other measures

NHS England has allocated a further £1.4m to support CCGs to deliver the programme this year, to allow for more reviews to be completed.

Between July 2016 and December 2017, the programme reviewed 103 deaths and found that 13 of those had been ‘adversely affected’ by treatment delays, gaps in service provision, ‘organisational dysfunction’, neglect or abuse.

Other actions the Government will take include sharing the learning from the named social worker pilot, which gave one-to-one support to people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs, and measuring the effectiveness of the support provided to patients with learning disabilities through a quality-of-life standard.

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