We believe all doctors and nurses need the right training to make sure people with a learning disability get the best possible healthcare. 

But, our research shows that 1 in 4 healthcare professionals has never been given training about learning disability. This is unacceptable.

The Government's announcement is an important first step in helping to change this. 

Since we launched our Treat Me Well campaign in February 2018, we've called loud and clear for nurses and doctors to get the training they urgently need.

This was also one of the recommendations in the 2018 report from the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR), and was the central call of Paula McGowan’s Parliamentary petition.

We've been campaigning alongside Paula, whose son, Oliver, died in hospital in 2016. You can read her story here.

The consultation

In response to our campaigning, the Government agreed that all relevant NHS staff should be trained about learning disability.

They held a consultation on this with the public, from 13 February and 26 April 2019

The results of the consultation have informed what the Government plan to do next, and how they roll out learning disability training to NHS staff in England.

The Government's announcement

On 5 November 2019 the Government announced what they will do now that they have reviewed the results of the consultation.

They have announced that:

  • all health and social care staff will receive training on autism and learning disability
  • trials will begin in NHS and social care settings from next year, supported by £1.4million of Government funding
  • a training package will be named after Oliver McGowan, who died in 2016
  • every NHS and social care worker will receive mandatory training relevant to their role
  • they will run a series of trials early next year to test the new training package, ahead of a wider roll-out.

These actions will aim to improve the quality of care people with a learning disability and/or autism receive, as well as helping to close the health inequality gap.

The Government's announcement comes as new statistics show that people with a learning disability are more likely to die before the age of 75 than any other member of the public. The Government's announcement is an important step in bringing about a fairer healthcare system for people with a learning disability.

Are you involved in training?

The Government's announcement to roll out mandatory learning disability and autism training for health and social care staff could transform how people with a learning disability are treated when they go into hospital.

Are you involved in delivering training already? Or have you been given training?

Let us know what's happening in your area. This will help us build a picture of what is happening across England.

Tell us more

Watch our video

Hear what we have to say following the Government's announcement on mandatory learning disability and autism training for health and social care staff in England.

Donate to help keep us campaigning

You can support us by sending in a donation. This will help us run our campaigns, including Treat me well, and make sure we can have an even bigger impact.

We really appreciate all your support.


Find out more

If you have any questions please contact our campaigns team at campaigns@mencap.org.uk.

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