Changing values

An understanding of the nature of intellectual disability is essential for health care professionals, who are required to support equal access to their services for all disabled people.

Down Syndrome Act 2022

The Down Syndrome Act will require the UK Government to publish guidance on the specific needs of people with Down syndrome and how to meet them. The relevant public authorities providing health and social care services must then have due regard to this in carrying out their functions under existing legislation such as the Care Act 2014 and the Equality Act 2010. It is hoped that this sets a precedent to ultimately benefit the care and support for everyone with a learning disability, not just those with Down syndrome.

The timing of this Act complements the Health and Care Act, which specifies that there will be a named lead for learning disabilities and autism within each Integrated Care Board (ICB). They will ultimately be accountable for the implementation of the guidance put before Parliament. It is vital that ICBs have up-to-date guidance and are held accountable for the integrated approach to health and care that these individuals need and deserve, to reduce the already huge health inequalities that have only grown through the pandemic. It also aligns with the inclusion of mandatory training on learning disabilities and autism for all health and social care staff as part of the Health and Care Act; building the right support action plan and proposals within the Reform of the Mental Health Act Bill seeks to remove learning disabilities and autism as mental disorders for which people can be detained involuntarily beyond a 28-day period of assessment. The Down Syndrome Act is another measure to improve community-based care and promote least restrictive practice.

Down Syndrome Act 2022

Mandatory Training in LD and Autism

The Health and Care Act 2022 includes the provisions for mandatory training on learning disabilities and autism for all health and social care staff to improve the health inequalities that many people with learning disabilities and autism currently face. This includes the creation of a code of practice on how this training will be created and delivered and ensures that coproduction and codelivery is embedded from the start. This builds on the pilot of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training that has already seen more than 8,000 staff take part.

Health and Care Act 2022


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