In 2010, the Government published statutory guidance for local councils and local NHS bodies setting out what they have to do to ensure they meet the needs of adults with autism in England.
As the guidance is statutory, local councils and local health bodies have a legal duty to implement it.
Where the guidance says that a local area should do something, this means that they have to do it by law, unless they have a strong reason not to. Lack of money is not necessarily a strong reason.
The guidance sends a clear message that local councils and NHS bodies in England:
- should provide autism awareness training for all staff
- must provide specialist training for key staff, such as GPs and community care assessors
- cannot refuse community care assessments for adults with autism based solely on IQ
- must appoint an autism lead in their area
- have to develop a clear pathway to diagnosis and assessment for adults with autism
- need to commission services based on adequate population data.
What will change?
The Government has to develop and publish statutory guidance to support the new Think Autism strategy. It plans to do this by the end of 2014.
Before the Government can publish this, they will have to hold a public consultation on their proposed guidance. At this stage it will be really important for adults with autism, parents, carers and professionals to share their views and opinions.
What are we doing and how can you help?
The NAS will alert our supporters when the draft statutory guidance is publically available so that people can comment on it. It is expected that this will happen during the summer of 2014.
source : www.autism.org.uk