Government announce mandatory learning disability training

The government has announced it will pilot and roll out mandatory learning disability training for all relevant NHS healthcare professionals.

It comes in response to campaigning from ourselves and thousands of others following grave concerns about the widely recognised health inequalities experienced by individuals with a learning disability.

Read the ‘Right to be heard’ report

In the Down’s syndrome community alone, we believe that a number of premature deaths could, and should, have been prevented through a better understanding of the health needs of people with Down’s syndrome.

The announcement follows a consultation process that listened to the views of more than 5,000 people. We are pleased to have had our responses listened to and quoted in the report.

Read our response to the consultation

What the government have announced:

  • All health and social care staff will receive relevant training on autism and learning disabilities
  • A trial of the new staff training package will begin in 2020, backed by £1.4 million of government funding
  • A series of trials will run first, followed by a wider roll-out
  • People with learning disabilities and autism will be involved in the training

Training will focus on:

  • Understanding learning disability and autism
  • Legislation and rights
  • Making reasonable adjustments such as using different communication methods for autistic people with sensory sensitivities

We look forward to helping identify individuals with Down’s syndrome to form part of this new and important training. We also thank our members who have helped us lobby for such change.

How our Health Alert! Campaign contributed 

More than 30 case studies helped us form our responses to the government’s consultation following our Health Alert! Campaign.

We are always looking to hear from our members about their experiences of accessing health care (good or bad), as they help us campaign for change in cases like this. You can share your stories via email to or by calling our Helpline and speaking to one of Information Officers on 0333 12 12 300.