NHS England unveils Long Term Plan
NHS England unveiled its Long Term Plan in January. We’re thrilled that it includes autism alongside learning disability as a clinical priority and commitments to tackle inequality and improve health and care services for autistic people across the country. The full plan is on the NHS England website.
Over the summer, we and other organisations and campaigners encouraged autistic people and families to share their thoughts and experiences so the NHS knew the Plan needed to address excessive waiting times for diagnosis, poor support for mental health and insufficient understanding of what it means to be autistic.
The Plan sets out the NHS’ intention to tackle the autism diagnosis crisis, pilot annual health checks for autistic people and improve training for NHS staff. It also recommits to reducing the number of autistic people getting stuck in inpatient mental health hospitals.
The proposals are a promising start, but we want to see much more detail about the specific actions NHS England will take in the coming months. We will continue to push to ensure these pledges and promises are delivered.
The Autism Act is 10 years old! But what next…
Ten years ago, with your support, our charity worked with Cheryl Gillan MP and other autism charities and campaigners to successfully pass the Autism Act in England, the first disability-specific legislation in the UK.
This year, we’ll be celebrating this important milestone, helping people understand how the Act works. But we’ll also be finding out more from you and working with the APPGA to identify the gaps and what we need to do to strengthen the Act.
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