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Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 218354, tabled on 7 February 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support local authorities and hospitals providing support to people with autism.

Answered on

14 February 2019

The NHS Long Term Plan was published on 7 January 2019. The Plan has a renewed focus on supporting people with learning disabilities, autism or both by improving diagnostic pathways, reducing over-prescribing of medicines, and by ensuring people have access to high-quality care and support in the community.

The fifth local authority autism self-assessment exercise opened in September 2018 and closed in December 2018. The data received is currently being analysed by Public Health England and a report will be published shortly.

Work is underway by Health Education England to develop an Autism Core Skills and Competency Framework for health and care staff, and staff in organisations with public facing responsibilities. The aim is for the Framework to be completed by July 2019.

On 13 February, we began a consultation on proposals for mandatory learning disability and autism training for staff in health and social care, to ensure staff have the right skills to support people who may need reasonable adjustments made to allow them to access care.

NHS England and NHS Digital are strengthening accessibility through a reasonable adjustment ‘flagging’ project, which will provide a flag on the Summary Care Record to indicate the support needs and associated reasonable adjustments that an individual requires. The NHS Long Term Plan commits that by 2023/24 this will be used in patient records.