Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill: consultation

Closes 21 Apr 2024

Social Care

For those people who need it, social care, social work and community health are vital supports that enable people to live fuller lives connected to their local communities.    

People with learning disabilities and neurodivergent people are more likely to present with care and support needs compared to some other groups and those needs may be perceived as more complex by the people providing the services.  Without the right support from care practitioners, people are much more likely to need hospital care. This applies in particular to those with complex care needs.  

What can the Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence (LDAN) Bill do?

Proposal 1: Neurodivergent and learning disabilities strategies

We are proposing legislative requirements for these strategies in future.   For local strategies, we could ask Integration Authorities and local authorities to set out how they and organisations they commission will take into account the needs of neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities in their workforce planning and workforce training, including how they are meeting requirements around inclusive communications and accessibility.

Proposal 2: Mandatory training for the health and social care workforce

In England, the Health and Care Act 2022 introduced a new legal requirement for all health and social care service providers registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to provide employees with training appropriate to their role on autism and learning disabilities – the  Oliver McGowan Training.

We propose to legislate for a similar training requirement for health and social care staff in the LDAN Bill. However, we could take a wider neurodivergent approach to the training so that it focusses on neurodivergence and learning disabilities, and not just autism and learning disabilities.

Proposal 3: Inclusive communication and Accessibility

We propose to legislate for neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities to be able to request access to alternative means of communication where the offered means of communication will not work for them.  We also propose better access to easy-read versions of public facing communications and documents made by public authorities. This could include a broad duty to make them available on request and an automatic duty to provide them in certain circumstances, such as:  a duty on National Health Service (NHS) Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs) to require appointment letters to automatically be produced in easy read.  

We also plan to do more work to look at how far existing complaints systems meet the needs of neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities.  

Please tell us what you think.

Related information

Consultation Questions

The questions in this document refer to information contained in our consultation document and various alternative formats which can all be found here

You need only answer questions in the sections most relevant to you.

Which of these proposals do you agree with (if any), please tell us why?
Which of these proposals do you not agree with (if any), please tell us why?
Is there anything else that we should consider in relation to social care?