Northamptonshire’s PLT plan for LD and Autism awareness training for Primary Care

Please see a clarification on the details for Protected Learning Time for September and November 2023.  Please also see at the end a Frequently Asked Questions section.

This clarification has been prepared by Dr Jamie Green at the ICB. For any comments or queries, please contact him directly at

If you would like to register for the September and November sessions, please go to the link below

Register for the Sessions

Two dates, the afternoons of 20th September & 15th November have long been aligned to training, on the subject of, Learning Disabilities, and Autism (LDA).  The ICB took the decision to align the PLTs as the least disruptive way to help Primary Care meet its obligations.  At the time we aligned these PLTs, a lot of the limitations to the way to deliver OMMT were made available…crucially the requirement that the training could not be delivered to groups larger than 30 people.

There has been a lot of confusion nationally over the interpretation of what is necessary, and for example, incorrectly some Practices have believed that the LDA online training that has been available through many of online training providers is the whole OMMT.  It is rather only the first component of a TWO component training package.

OMMT has been recommended and expected by NHSE and CQC, but unfortunately the implementation nationally has been continually evolving and its Code of Practice is still in its consultation phase.  Consequently, the communication relating to these PLTs have been difficult to provide very far in advance, given that we didn’t want to give you inaccurate information, whilst national expectations were changing.

We have been in communication with GPs, PCN Clinical directors, and the LMC, over the last few months, trying to find the best way forward, providing training that we believe is almost impossible to implement in the way it is recommended nationally.

According to NHSE the OMMT should be:

  • Delivered over a whole day
  • Face to face
  • In groups no larger than 30 people
  • The trainers should be a trio:
  • a professional facilitator trainer
  • a trainer with lived experience of LD
  • a trainer with lived experience of Autism.

You therefore will realise, that with thousands of people to train in Northamptonshire, we would need either a hundred trios, to do this training on a single or few days, which is impossible secondary to the need to have sufficient trainers with lived experience.  Alternatively, still many tens of trios would be required to deliver this training even over a very long timescale, many months to years.  

Ultimately there is no easy solution.


… all organisations are at risk from a CQC perspective (as they must wait so long for their “slot” to come along), with their patients with LD&A being cared for by (the organisations, or large proportion of) staff who have received the OMMT


…we provide large scale non-OMMT LDA awareness training rapidly, to most of the Primary Care staff, through PLT. 

This second approach is the one we have taken and is broadly supported by a piece of BMA guidance.  The BMA described their discussions with NHSE and CQC confirming that OMMT is not actually mandatory (despite the inclusion of the word within the name).  CQC confirms that organisations should use their judgement as to what training is appropriate to their (employees’) role.

Tier 1 – 90 minute E-Learning + 60 minute facilitated live discussion with a person with LD & Autism

Tier 2 – 90 Minute E-Learning + TWO half day sessions (30 mins of which needs to be led by a person with learning difficulties and the latter session with potentially similar persons with Autism.

We recognise that most Primary Care staff probably fit into, and could benefit from, the training content of, Tier 2.

Across many organisations with responsibilities to deliver care to all their patients, you will realise that the amount of time employees would be away from the front line, (to receive this training) is concerning to all involved.  Thus, we decided to utilise the already back-filled time of PLT, to mitigate this risk. 

We knew we couldn’t deliver the “official” OMMT, because we couldn’t train the hundred trios to deliver it face to face in groups of 30.

We recognised and discussed at length, a lot of the challenges and opportunities presented by the provision of the OMMT training content, and reached a consensus, trying to maintain the spirit of OMMT, with the fewest compromises.

We have decided to run the content of Tier 2 training across the two PLT dates the first for LD, the second for Autism, within 4 rooms, with 120 delegates doing exactly that which OMMT recommends. 


We will however, additionally run one of these rooms with a live simulcast to a wider online audience, providing exposure to training on LDA awareness. 

Secondary to national rules, we must not record this simulcast.  We have also been told, very recently, that we cannot describe the training provided on the simulcast as OMMT, but rather as LD & Autism Awareness training. 


This approach, we believe addresses the challenges, but nonetheless recognises and retains, the key aspects of the spirit of the national recognition that the OMMT approach and content is the gold standard and its dissemination to as many as possible is the most crucial aspect.  It also protects the limited numbers of currently trained people with lived experience from having to deliver the content hundreds of times within a very short timescale.

It seeks to protect the health of people with LD and Autism, by the wide dissemination of training as soon as possible, to facilitate practice change, as soon as possible.

It protects the wider public by minimising the Practice downtime/clinician absence that would be caused by groups of 30 and mandating face to face training.  We also hope to provide ongoing face-to-face group training dates, that people can book into if they or their organisations feel is necessary moving forward enables people with the opportunities to broaden their knowledge further.

Frequently Asked Questions:

We have been receiving lots of questions relating to Oliver McGowan training, and protected learning time, and I think there has been some confusion relating to this. I have collated some of these responses which have come to the ICB and Training Hub, and hopefully this will answer some of your questions.

1 – Is this training mandatory, and what if I have already done the Electronic Learning for Health (E-LfH) module?

The Health and Care Act 2022 introduced a requirement that regulated service providers must ensure their staff receive learning disability and autism training appropriate to their role. For those in Patient Facing ‘providing care’, this includes both the e-Learning and a Whole Day of training.  For other staff who need to be aware of LD, they need both the e-Learning and a 60 minuite Online interactive session.

So in short all staff are required to do training beyond the e-learning session.

2 – Which sessions do I need to attend?

We recognise the significant challenge in getting all staff in the NHS released from clinical or work time to allow them to attend either the whole day or interactive sessions.  As such we have been pragmatic in the delivery of the training, which has deviated slightly from the original design of Oliver McGowan training.  As such we are offering all staff the opportunity to join us along side the 4 rooms of 30 people, via an online simulcast.

While it would have been better to have had this all Face to Face, it is simply not deliverable across the whole of primary care, there simply are not enough trainers to do this.  Those who are selected to be at the Face to Face session will be attending at Northampton Town Football Club, and lunch is provided. Everyone else will be online.

All staff are welcome to attend both sessions, both clinical and non-clinical.  Please note that at the same time as the second session there are also training sessions hosted by the training hub for non-clinical staff, which will go ahead.

3- Why do I need to register and watch individually?

As part of the Registration Process, we are collecting details and allocating groups accordingly.  Then to know who has watched and engaged in the training, we are able to show this via engagement with MS Teams.  This is required so we can for this occasion only send out recognition of attendance to satisfy the CQC and mandatory training portfolios.

4- What if I cannot make the session or do not work on PLT days?

We recognise there will always be expected staff absences, and not all staff are available on PLT days.  However, what we are offering if the training for free for those who can make it, and providing cover for the practice so that we can get as many staff to attend as possible.  While this will not catch everyone, it is the most effective way to ensure as many people as possible get the training.

The session cannot be recorded due to Copyright, and the need to be able to ask questions if needed.

Some practice make adjustments in CPD time to allow staff who would not usually work on a Wednesday to be able to attend PLTs.

There may be catch up sessions provided, and we are working on offering some of those across the system, and like BLS training we are already seeing private providers coming along who will deliver this mandatory training.

5- I cannot access emails.

While all staff working in the NHS are eligible to have access to an email, I have learnt that some practices tend to use generic or group based emails rather than personal ones.

It is technically possible to register and login with a personal email, however this makes it very hard to assess who has been attending, as the domain email addresses are the only ones which will show as having attended, with a specific name.

6- We have in house training booked at the same time?

Protected learning time is split into ‘In-House / PCN’ and ‘Central’.  Generally we would not recommend booking in-house elements over a central PLT, and it is part of the deal of being blocked for this time that the practice makes reasonable attempts to attend Central PLTs.  I want to resist the previous practice of mandating central PLT attendance, it is vital that practice engage with PLT, especially as I spend a lot of time trying to ensure it remains in place for Northamptonshire.

7- I am a locum GP, am I required to attend the training?


8- What time are the sessions?


This will be confirmed to those who have registered as soon as possible, it is not going to be earlier than 1pm, and will finish by 5pm.  

To Join the Session on 20th September at 1:15 PM please click the button below

Join Session Now


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