Go back a step

Success for parents' campaign paves way to improved care for children with learning disabilities

Tuesday 5th November 2019

The Government has today announced that there will be compulsory training on learning disability and autism for all health and social care staff.

This follows a couple's hard fought campaign following the death of their son.

Oliver McGowan, who had autism, died in November 2016, aged 18, after being given anti-psychotic medication against his own and his parents' wishes.

His parents Paula and Tom McGowan have tirelessly campaigned for health and social care staff to be given training in learning disability, ever since. And this morning the government backed their calls by announcing that this training would begin next year with pilots and £1.4million funding.

Una Summerson, Head of Policy at Contact, said: "This is an important step in ensuring children with learning disabilities and autism are given the care they have a right to, and will hopefully go some way in addressing the health inequalities that people with learning disabilities face. We applaud the tremendous efforts of Oliver's parents Paula and Tom, who have campaigned for this so bravely and tenaciously over the last three years. Their campaign has ensured that in future years children, young people and adults with learning disabilities will have a better standard of care and understanding."