Disability Royal Commission examines education and training of health professionals in relation to cognitive disability
The training and education of health professionals, specifically in relation to treating people with cognitive disability will be the focus of the next public hearing of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
The Royal Commission’s 10th hearing, in Sydney on 15 and 16 December, 2020, will examine the education and training of health professionals, including medical practitioners, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and psychologists.
In the Royal Commission’s final public hearing for 2020, the focus will be on exploring the content of curricula at undergraduate and post-graduate medical, dental and nursing schools and medical colleges relating to the health needs of people with cognitive disability.
Among other topics, the Scope and Purpose of the hearing will explore –
- accreditation and oversight of education and training programs
- the extent of involvement of people with cognitive disability and their families and support persons in the education and training of health professionals, and
- the need for and effectiveness of education and training to address
- diagnostic overshadowing and the misdiagnosis of health conditions in people with cognitive disability
- cultural attitudes, assumptions and beliefs about the quality of life of people with cognitive disability
- gaps in specialised knowledge in cognitive disability.
Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC said it was important that the Royal Commission examine the frameworks involved in educating health professionals about treating people with cognitive disability so as to better understand the standards applied to their particular needs.
“The medical treatment of people with disability - in this case, people with a cognitive disability - must be undertaken with great care and understanding,” Mr Sackville said.
“The Royal Commission needs to understand how health professionals are taught to communicate, treat and care for patients with cognitive disability in their learning environments.”
Mr Sackville will be joined by Commissioners Roslyn Atkinson AO and Barbara Bennett PSM in Brisbane, with Senior Counsel Assisting Kate Eastman SC leading the investigation with Georgina Wright of junior counsel.
The hearing will be closed to the public, but will be live-streamed on the Royal Commission website.
The Disability Royal Commission was established in April 2019 in response to community concern about widespread reports of violence against, and the neglect, abuse and exploitation of, people with disability.
Public Hearing 10: Education and training of health professionals (Auslan)
Public Hearing 10: Education and training of health professionals
Public Hearing 10 will be held on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 December in Sydney.
The hearing will be closed to the public but will be live streamed on the Royal Commission website.
It will have Auslan interpreters and captions.
This hearing will be the final public hearing for 2020.
This hearing will look at the education and training of health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and psychologists, who look after and treat people with cognitive disability.
Some of the topics that will be explored at the hearing include:
- university courses for health professionals that relate to health needs of people with cognitive disability, in particular the content of these courses
- what universities have to include in their courses to provide a medical, nursing or dental degree
- guidelines issued by a professional agency such as a ‘code of conduct’ for doctors, and standards they have to meet
- annual training and development that professionals such as nurses must do on an ongoing basis
- the involvement of people with cognitive disability and their families in the education and training of health professionals
- the need for education and training to address:
- situations where a person’s disability is used to explain a pain or illness that they have
- misdiagnosing a health condition in people with cognitive disability
- attitudes, assumptions and beliefs about the quality of life of people with cognitive disability
- communication with people with cognitive disability and their families and carers
- gaps in knowledge of cognitive disability.
For more information, visit the Public Hearings section on our website.
More information: www.disability.royalcommission.gov.au