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Support to implement Think Autism

Recent national policy and guidance promises to transform the lives of people living with autism and autistic spectrum disorders. Think Autism (2014), the refreshed National Autism Strategy, set out 15 priority action areas including social inclusion, involvement, equality, safety, local strategic needs assessments and getting the right help at the right time. Statutory guidance for its implementation was published in March 2015.

The Care Act (2014) also has the potential to transform autism services, particularly with its focus on prevention and health and social care partnership working. Furthermore, The No voice unheard, No right ignored (2015) paper is progressing the debate about how to ensure people with learning disabilities and autism can live independently and inclusively in their own communities, with more choice and control over decisions affecting their care and treatment.

The direction of travel is away from a service-based approach to commissioning and provision, towards a social inclusion, rights-based approach putting the person with autism at the centre of their own lives and contributing to their own and others’ wellbeing.

Whilst health and social care stakeholders welcome this radical shift, it presents enormous challenges. The latest self-assessment exercise revealed:

  • 40% of Local Authorities did not have the involvement of CCGs, people with autism or carers on their local strategy implementation
  • 32% of Local Authorities did not consider older people in its Autism planning work
  • More than 40% did not have a multi-agency training plan for autism
  • 39% had no CCG or primary care involvement in the development of autism workforce planning
  • Only 24% of authorities included Autism within the Employment or Worklessness Strategy for the Council or engaged with the local Job Centre and local employers regarding employment of people with autism.

How NDTI can help 

NDTi has substantial experience and a proven track record of specialist experience in independent strategic review, research, policy development, evaluation and change support. We work alongside stakeholders including people who use services to deliver real, long term improvements for people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health problems of all ages. Our team is highly experienced and brings with it, a wealth of policy, evaluation, facilitation and research knowledge and skills.

Click here to find out more about our approach and examples of our work.