PROPOSALS have been announced to ensure health and social care staff are legally required to undertake special learning disability or autism training.
The move has been welcomed by campaigners and aims to address the stark difference in life expectancy between people with a learning disability and those without.
Currently, the life expectancy of women with a learning disability is 18 years lower than those without, with a 14-year gap for men. Autistic people also face documented barriers to accessing healthcare.
All relevant staff, from receptionists to doctors or care workers could receive a level of training.
The proposals would see autistic people and those with a learning disability involved in the training, to help challenge attitudes and unconscious bias. Clinicians often only see autistic people or people with a learning disability when they are unwell or anxious due to their environment and training can provide a safe and relaxed space for professionals to get to know someone and understand how they can make reasonable adjustments to their care.
As part of an eight-week consultation on the training, published today, the Government is seeking the views of health and social care staff, employers, charities and people with a learning disability or on the autism spectrum, as well as their families and carers.