Change that leads to better lives

Evaluation of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism

We were appointed by Health Education England, Skills for Care and the Department of Health and Social Care to be the independent evaluation partner for the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Learning Disability and Autism Training trial. We worked in partnership with My Life My Choice and bemix to complete this work.

The training is named after Oliver McGowan, a young autistic man who died after being given anti-psychotic medication in hospital against his and his family's wishes. Following Oliver’s death, his mother Paula McGowan led a campaign for more training for health and social care staff. The training was to provide them with the confidence and skills to understand the needs of people with learning disabilities and/or autism in their care.

In 2019, the government set out their commitment to mandatory training in their consultation response in 'Right to be heard’. In this, they announced funding to develop and test a learning disability and autism training package which can be rolled out widely.

Our evaluation reports were published in 2022. We worked on the belief that for the training to be effective it must lead to better care, support, and ultimately outcomes, for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

The evaluation also explored the facilitators and barriers for the implementation of the training and participant's learning in the workplace. We have provided a report on these things to the commissioners of the trial, and also plan to publish some of the relevant findings in summer 2023

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Anna Marriott

Madeline Cooper

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