Department of Health proposes mandatory training for all care and health staff who deal with patients with learning disabilities and autism

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock announced yesterday that further mandatory training will be introduced for all care and health staff who deal with patients with learning disabilities and autism.

The Government plans to review current training and awareness and determine what additional training may be necessary before it makes changes to the law. They plan to consult with healthcare regulators (including the CQC), service providers, health and social care staff and people with learning disabilities and autism to ensure that training is improved, and that the right training is delivered.

The Government proposes to make some training available by March 2020. They expect to make further information available for health and care organisations by June 2010, to assist providers in identifying what kind of training their staff need. They are committed to ensuring that people with learning disabilities and autism are involved in that training, and get paid for it. They plan to report on their findings on training requirements by March 2021, and hope to make changes to the law on mandatory training for those who need it by April 2021.

It is likely that different training requirements will apply to different groups of health and social care staff, depending on the level of interaction they have with and the care role they play for patients with learning disabilities and autism.

This is one of a number of commitments announced by the Department of Health and Social Care as part of a wider review. Other proposals include a review of the care of all 2,250 inpatients with learning disabilities and autism in mental health hospitals, with a view to a reduction in inpatient numbers and an independent panel to be established to oversee case reviews for those in long-term segregation.

Providers should of course already ensure that their staff are appropriately trained and training is up to date, but can expect significant further developments over the next 18-24 months.

We recommend all providers keep an eye out for further consultations and announcements. There may be opportunities for providers to get involved, and play an active role in developing legislative and regulatory policy.

The full announcement is available on the gov.uk website, here.