What is the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training What is the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training?

What is the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training?

Learning Disabilities

Care Learning

7 mins READ

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism is an initiative originating in the United Kingdom, specifically aimed at improving the understanding and support of people with learning disabilities and autism across health and social care settings.

This training became mandated following the tragic and preventable death of Oliver McGowan, a young man with autism and learning disabilities, because of misunderstandings and inadequate care in a healthcare environment.

Background and Importance

The catalyst for this training was the recognition that all too often, individuals with learning disabilities and autism do not receive the appropriate care they need because healthcare staff and professionals lack the necessary knowledge and skills. Oliver McGowan’s experience highlighted the urgent need for systemic change and improved education amongst those who provide health and social care services.

Objectives

The primary objectives of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training are:

  1. Enhancing Understanding: To provide health and social care staff with a comprehensive understanding of learning disabilities and autism.
  2. Improving Communication: To ensure that staff can communicate more effectively with individuals who have these conditions.
  3. Promoting Person-Centred Care: To ensure that care is tailored to the individual needs of the person, respecting their personal preferences and promoting their dignity.
  4. Reducing Health Inequalities: To diminish the disparities in health outcomes that often affect people with learning disabilities and autism.

Structure of the Training

The training is designed to be accessible and applicable to all levels of staff within health and social care settings. It usually comprises several key components:

  • E-learning Modules: Providing foundational knowledge about learning disabilities and autism.
  • Face-to-Face Sessions: Interactive workshops that may include direct interactions with individuals who have learning disabilities and autism, offering real-world perspectives.
  • Reflection and Assessment: Encouraging staff to reflect on their learning and allowing for assessment to ensure comprehension and readiness to apply the knowledge in practice.

Key Topics Covered

Understanding Learning Disabilities and Autism: Basic definitions, prevalence, and the challenges faced by individuals.

Communication Techniques: Effective methods to communicate and interact respectfully and effectively with people who have learning disabilities and autism.

Reasonable Adjustments: How to make practical and policy adjustments to ensure that the healthcare environment is inclusive and accessible.

Law and Ethics: Understanding the relevant legislation, such as the Equality Act 2010 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and ethical obligations towards individuals with learning disabilities and autism.

Person-Centred Approaches: Practical strategies for delivering care that is centred around the individual’s unique needs and preferences.

Implementation and Compliance

The training has been phased in across health and social care settings, and compliance is monitored to ensure that staff at all levels undertake and complete the necessary training. It is mandatory for both new staff members upon induction and existing staff members as part of their continuing professional development.

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism includes different tiers to tailor the training to the varying roles and levels of interaction that staff members have with individuals who have learning disabilities and autism. The aim is to provide appropriate and relevant training that meets the specific needs of different professionals within the health and social care sectors. Let’s break down these tiers:

What are the Tiers of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training?

Tier 1: Awareness Level Training

Target Audience:

  • This tier is designed for all staff, including those who do not have regular direct contact with individuals with learning disabilities and autism but may come into incidental contact.

Key Features:

  • Basic Understanding: Provides a foundational awareness of learning disabilities and autism, helping staff to recognise these conditions and understand their general impact.
  • Introduction to Key Concepts: Introduces staff to the basic principles of person-centred care, effective communication techniques, and an overview of relevant legislation.
  • Duration and Delivery: Often comprises shorter training sessions, which could be delivered through online modules or brief classroom sessions.

Objectives:

  • Raise general awareness across all levels of staff.
  • Foster a considerate and inclusive environment within all health and social care settings.

Tier 2: Advanced Level Training

Target Audience:

  • This tier is geared towards professionals who have regular, direct contact with individuals with learning disabilities and autism, such as healthcare assistants, nurses, social workers, and other front-line staff.

Key Features:

  • In-depth Knowledge: Provides a more comprehensive understanding of the specific needs and characteristics of people with learning disabilities and autism.
  • Enhanced Communication Techniques: Focuses on developing advanced communication skills tailored to interacting with individuals with these conditions.
  • Practical Application: Includes practical scenarios and role-playing exercises to ensure that staff are equipped to apply their knowledge in real-world situations.
  • Detailed Legislative Understanding: Offers a deeper dive into relevant legislation and ethical considerations, ensuring staff understand their legal and moral obligations.
  • Duration and Delivery: Typically involves a combination of e-learning, face-to-face workshops, and experiential learning over a more extended period compared to Tier 1.

Objectives:

  • Equip front-line staff with the skills and confidence to deliver high-quality, person-centred care.
  • Ensure that health and social care professionals can make reasonable adjustments and provide tailored support.

Combined Benefits and Implementation

The tiered approach ensures that all staff receive the level of training appropriate to their roles:

  • Enhancing Organisational Capability: By implementing a tiered training system, organisations can ensure that all staff, regardless of their role, have a suitable level of understanding and competency regarding learning disabilities and autism.
  • Targeted Training: Resource allocation is optimised by focusing more intensive training on those who need it most while ensuring that a baseline level of awareness is spread across the entire workforce.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Both tiers have built-in mechanisms for assessment and feedback to ensure the training is effective. Staff members are often required to complete assessments or reflective exercises to demonstrate their understanding. Organisations may also engage in regular reviews and updates of the training content to keep it current and aligned with best practices.

In summary, the tiered approach of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training ensures that all health and social care staff in the UK are equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills to support individuals with learning disabilities and autism, tailored to the nature and frequency of their interactions with these individuals. This stratified method helps create a more inclusive, knowledgeable, and responsive care environment.

What legislation does the training related to?

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism is pertinent to several key pieces of legislation in the United Kingdom that govern the care, rights, and treatment of individuals with learning disabilities and autism. Below are the primary legislative frameworks relevant to this training:

Equality Act 2010

Relevance:

  • The Equality Act 2010 is a crucial piece of legislation that provides legal protection against discrimination for people with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities and autism.
  • The act mandates that organisations, including those in health and social care, make reasonable adjustments to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to services, facilities, and employment opportunities.

Training Implications:

  • Staff must understand their legal duty to prevent discrimination and take proactive steps to make reasonable adjustments that accommodate the needs of individuals with learning disabilities and autism.

Mental Capacity Act 2005

Relevance:

  • This act applies to individuals over the age of 16 who may lack the mental capacity to make certain decisions for themselves due to learning disabilities, autism, or other cognitive impairments.
  • It provides a framework for making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack capacity, ensuring that such decisions are made in their best interests and that their rights are protected.

Training Implications:

  • Health and social care professionals must be knowledgeable about assessing mental capacity and making best-interest decisions.
  • Staff should be trained on the core principles of the act, such as assuming capacity unless proven otherwise and supporting individuals to make decisions wherever possible.

Care Act 2014

Relevance:

  • The Care Act 2014 outlines the responsibilities of local authorities in England regarding the assessment of needs and provision of social care services.
  • It emphasises promoting individual well-being, preventing and delaying the need for care and support, and ensuring that people’s views, wishes, feelings, and beliefs are central to the decision-making process.

Training Implications:

  • Staff must understand their obligations to assess and meet the needs of individuals with learning disabilities and autism in a person-centred manner.
  • The training reinforces the importance of promoting well-being and acting with consideration of the individual’s personal circumstances and preferred outcomes.

Children and Families Act 2014

Relevance:

  • This act provides a framework for supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including those with learning disabilities and autism.
  • It requires local authorities and health partners to work collaboratively to assess the needs of children and young people with SEND and provide appropriate support and education.

Training Implications:

  • Professionals working with children and young people must understand the processes for SEND assessments and the provision of educational, health, and care plans (EHCPs).
  • The act underscores the importance of timely intervention and coordinated support tailored to the child or young person’s individual needs.

Human Rights Act 1998

Relevance:

  • The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law, protecting fundamental rights and freedoms.
  • Key rights that are particularly relevant to individuals with learning disabilities and autism include the right to life, the right to respect for private and family life, and the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment.

Training Implications:

  • Staff must be aware of these fundamental rights and ensure that their practice in health and social care respects and upholds these rights.
  • Training highlights the importance of dignity, respect, and protection from abuse and neglect.

Autism Act 2009

Relevance:

  • The Autism Act 2009 is the only condition-specific legislation in England, requiring the government to produce an autism strategy to meet the needs of adults with autism, regardless of IQ and the presence of a learning disability.
  • It aims to improve services and support for adults with autism.

Training Implications:

  • Staff need to be aware of the provisions of the autism strategy and their responsibilities under this act.
  • The training covers the requirements for improving diagnostic pathways, access to services, and understanding the specific challenges that individuals with autism may face.

Health and Social Care Act 2008

Relevance:

  • This act established the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which regulates health and social care services in England.
  • It sets out the fundamental standards care providers must meet and the CQC’s role in monitoring compliance.

Training Implications:

  • Staff must understand the regulatory framework and standards set by the CQC, aimed at ensuring high-quality, safe, and compassionate care for individuals with learning disabilities and autism.
  • The training reinforces the importance of compliance with these regulatory standards and continuous quality improvement.

By aligning with these key legislative frameworks, the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training ensures that health and social care professionals are well-equipped to meet their legal and ethical obligations in providing high-quality care and support to individuals with learning disabilities and autism.

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