Petition calling for autism/learning disability training to be mandatory for doctors and nurses.
Paula McGowan’s son Oliver was only 18 when he died in hospital on 11 November 2016. Paula believes his death could have been prevented if his doctors and nurses had received mandatory training. He had autism and a mild learning disability, and they weren’t trained to understand how to make reasonable adjustments for him.
1 in 4 healthcare professionals has never had training on learning disability or autism. This is unacceptable. Two thirds want more training, and 1 in 3 think a lack of government leadership is contributing to the problem of avoidable deaths. The Government must ensure all healthcare professionals get mandatory training to address the huge health inequalities facing people with autism and a learning disability.
Jan Tregelles, chief executive at the learning disability charity Mencap, is urging people to sign Paula’s petition. She said:
“Mencap’s research revealed that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of healthcare professionals have never received training on learning disability, and that almost half think this is contributing to avoidable deaths. Estimates suggest three people with a learning disability die avoidably every day. This cannot continue.
“No health professional should be allowed to step foot in a hospital without having had training on providing healthcare to people with a learning disability.”