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Debate: MPs to debate autism training for healthcare professionals

18 October 2018

MPs to debate autism training for healthcare professionals

On Monday 22 October MPs will debate a petition urging the Government to prevent avoidable deaths by making autism and learning disability training mandatory for healthcare professionals.

The debate will start at 4.30pm and will be opened by Daniel Zeichner MP, a member of the Petitions Committee.

The petition, which has more than 50,000 signatures, states that: “My son Oliver was only 18 when he died in hospital on 11 Nov 2016. I believe his death could have been prevented if his doctors and nurses had received mandatory training. He had autism and a mild learning disability, and they weren't trained to understand how to make reasonable adjustments for him.”

In response to the petition, the Government said that: “We want all staff to receive the support, training and professional development they need to support people with learning disabilities and autism, in line with employers' existing responsibilities.” Monday's debate will provide an opportunity for MPs to question a Government Minister directly on this topic.

What will the petition debate achieve?

These debates help to raise the profile of a campaign and could influence decision-making in Government and Parliament. Petition debates in Westminster Hall cannot directly change the law or result in a vote to implement the request of the petition. Creating new laws, or changing existing ones, can only be done through the parliamentary legislative process which involves a number of debates, and detailed consideration of the law in draft, in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

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