Department of Health and Social Care
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Opportunity to help improve care services for adults with autism

Opportunity to help improve care services for adults with autism

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 29 July 2010

A consultation to help improve care services and healthcare outcomes for adults with autism in England was launched today by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow.

This is the next step to help adults with autism live full and independent lives as equal and included citizens and follows the publication ofthe strategy for adults with autism: Fulfilling and rewarding lives.

The strategy sets a clear framework for all mainstream public sector services to support adults with autism and is backed up by the Autism Act 2009, the first ever condition specific legislation.

The 12-week consultation process seeks views from those with autism, their families, carers, representative organisations and all sectors of society on a number of important issues such as:

diagnosis of autism increasing awareness of autism amongst frontline staff provision of training and specialist training for frontline staff appropriate assessment of needs for those with autism provision of relevant services for young people and adults with autism local leadership for NHS and social care in relation to the provision of services for adults with autism

Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said:

“I hope people will take part in this opportunity to influence the direction and progress of our autism programme.

“It is unacceptable when adults with autism do not get the right care and support they need from health and social care services.

“The Government wants the consultation to reach as many people as possible, in line with our goal of giving people more say in the decisions that affect their lives. These views will help shape our priorities as we seek to help adults with autism live fulfilling and rewarding lives.”

Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said:

“This is the vital next step people with autism and their families have been waiting for.During the passage of the Autism Act, Parliament described this statutory guidance as the 'teeth' of the Act, so it is vital that it secures real and lasting change at ground level.

“Now, I’d like to urge as many adults with autism, their parents and carers to take part in the consultation to make sure it is robust and can be used to hold their local services to account. The right support at the right time can make an enormous difference to peoples’ lives.”

The statutory guidance for health and social care will be published by December 2010. The strategy will be reviewed in 2013.

Notes to Editors

The consultation will run for a 12-week period from 30 July to 22 October 2010.

Full consultation materials can be downloaded by clicking on the consultations link on the home page of www.dh.gov.uk

There are a range of ways for people to respond to the consultation, including:

-completing an online questionnaire
-responding in writing
-responding via e mail.

4. DH has also developed templates and resource packs to share with local and health authorities and local voluntary groups to enable them to run their own engagement events in their area. Further details can be found online.

5. If you require any further information, please contact the Department of Health Newsdesk on 020 7210 5221.

Contacts:

Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221
NDS.DH@coi.gsi.gov.uk

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