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Autism: Health Services

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 237097, tabled on 26 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve services for people with autism.

Answered on

2 April 2019

The Government is committed to improving services and support for autistic people. The Autism Act 2009 places a duty on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to publish a strategy for meeting the needs of autistic adults in England, and to review it periodically. England’s first Cross-Government Adult Autism Strategy, ‘Fulfilling and rewarding lives’, was published in 2010 and in April 2014 the Strategy was updated with the publication of ‘Think Autism’, supported by revised statutory guidance. On 5 December 2018, the Department announced that it was launching a comprehensive review of ‘Think Autism’. This is to ensure the Strategy remains fit for purpose. The Government wants an autism strategy that works for all autistic people, and that is why, working very closely with the Department for Education, we will be extending the strategy to include children.

To inform our review of the autism strategy, on 14 March, we launched a national call for evidence on GOV.UK. We want to hear the views of autistic people, their families and carers, as well as those of professionals. We want to know what is working and where more need to be done to ensure that public services meet the needs of autistic people, their families and carers. Our refreshed cross-Government autism strategy, due to be published later this year, will help to deliver this.