A consultation on mandatory learning disability and autism training has been extended by two weeks by the government due to high interest.
The consultation, which opened on February 13, will now stay open until Friday, 26 April to give people more time to feedback on the proposals which would affect up to 2.8m health and social care staff who have regular contact with patients or service users.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage (pictured) said: “It is clear we need to do better for autistic people and those with learning disabilities. Our plans to introduce mandatory training for all relevant health and care staff will help to ensure they receive the safe, compassionate and informed care that they are entitled to and ensure our amazing workforce are confident to do their absolute best.
“This training could save lives so it’s absolutely essential that we get it right. We have had a fantastic response so far to our consultation but I want to leave no stone unturned and so I’ve asked to extend it to allow more time for people to have their say. If this affects you, please don’t delay – I want to hear from as many people as possible.”
Under the plans, all relevant staff, including care workers, could receive a level of training to provide:
- an understanding of learning disability and autism and the impact they have on someone’s life, including challenging unconscious attitudes which can lead to a failure to spot key symptoms, and ensuring individuals, their carers or families are listened to;
- knowledge of the fundamental rights of people with a learning disability or autistic people, and how these can be translated into action, for example, the need to provide information in an accessible format and make sure people’s views and concerns are heard; and
- advice on how to make practical reasonable adjustments to improve how people with a learning disability and autistic people, of all ages, are supported.
The proposals would see autistic people and those with a learning disability involved in the training, to help challenge attitudes and unconscious bias.
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