Last week, Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham attended a parliamentary event exploring ways to improve health equality for people with learning disabilities and autism in the House of Commons.
The event was led by trainers from learning disability support providers Dimensions and Certitude’s Treat Me Right! with resource provider Beyond Words, and highlighted that:
- 98% of GPs say they would benefit from a short training session, led by people with learning disabilities or autism, on how to meet the individual needs of patients.
- Two thirds of GPs say they have received less than a day’s training on how to meet the needs of patients with learning disabilities or autism
- 60% of people with a learning disability said their GP did not make reasonable adjustments for them
- Three quarters of GPs would like additional training on reasonable adjustments.
The government recently committed to introducing mandatory awareness training for healthcare professionals following the Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR). The move came after increasing pressure from parents like Paula McGowan, whose son Oliver died through being given the wrong medication against his parents’ wishes, and prominent campaigns from providers such as Dimensions and Certitude.
Speaking after the event, Alex said:
“Now we must ensure that this training is delivered not just for people with learning disabilities and autism – but also by people with lived experience too. If we can manage this it will encourage services in our area to become more accessible.
“I encourage all GP practices in my constituency to engage in learning disability & autism training and for everyone working in healthcare to think about how they can make their service more accessible.’