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Will extra training improve care of service users with learning disabilities or autism?

14 March 2019
6 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 5


Emeritus Professor Alan Glasper, University of Southampton, discusses a new initiative for additional training for health professionals in England. An open consultation is inviting nurses and others to comment on the proposals

Serious concerns about the care received by people with learning disabilities and autism in the NHS have been growing since the 2011 scandal at Winterbourne View Hospital. It was the sustained abuse of young people with learning disabilities at this hospital that provoked a serious case review necessitating fundamental changes to the care of these patients in the health service (Flynn, 2012).

The publication of the case review prompted the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to launch a programme of risk-based random, unannounced inspections of institutions providing care for people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour. The inspections showed that there were deficiencies in care for people with learning disabilities across the country (CQC, 2012).

In light of these revelations about the suboptimum care of people with learning disabilities or autism, the Government is seeking ways to ensure that health and social care professionals have the appropriate training to more fully understand the needs of this population, and to make reasonable adjustments in care delivery to provide support.

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