Autistic people, their families and those caring for them are being asked for their views on how care and support in England can be improved.
The call for evidence is part of the cross-government review of the national autism strategy, which will be refreshed and launched later this year. The strategy will be extended to cover children as well as adults, so services work better for autistic people of all ages.
Autistic people, family members, carers and professionals can all take part in the online survey. The government is asking people to provide their views on:
- how autistic people feel within their local communities and whether members of the public understand their needs
- whether autistic people, their families and carers receive the right support for all their needs at the right time
- how much autistic people are supported to develop their skills and independence
- where progress has been made, and where it still needs to be made
- what the key priorities should be for the future
People now have an opportunity to express their views on what is working and where more needs to be done to transform care and support. This could include:
- in school through support to access the curriculum
- at hospital through timely diagnosis
- within the community through respite care or support to enter the workplace
There will also be face-to-face sessions with groups of autistic people, including children and young people.
Supporting people on the autism spectrum or with learning disabilities is one of the 4 clinical priority areas in the NHS Long Term Plan.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said:
Autistic people must be at the heart of any improvements we make to their care and support. This is an opportunity to make a real difference to hundreds of thousands of lives. We want services from healthcare to education to work better for autistic people of all ages – it’s no coincidence that learning disability and autism are one of the clinical priorities in the NHS Long Term Plan.
Please get involved and share your views so we can work harder than ever to improve care and support for autistic people, their families and carers.”