Public Policy Exchange on Developing Community Services


Yesterday Dr Buchan and Carly attended the Public Policy Exchange on Developing Community Services to Deliver Better Outcomes for People with Autism in London.

We were surprised to see there were only 16 attendees, however, this small number of attendees allowed for a very interactive and interesting day throughout!

The chair of the event was Jon Spiers of Autistica who introduced the first panel of speakers.

Dr Ashok Roy, Consultant in the Psychiatry of Learning Disability, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust spoke about Positive Behaviour Support – implementing, embedding and personalising. He also spoke about the importance of making sense after the Diagnostic assessment process and very importantly spoke of poor care = expensive care.

Councillor Andrew Rendle then spoke who is the champion for Autism, London Borough of Croydon who spoke passionately about his involvement with the Autism Partnership Board and the services Croydon provides. The local services in Croydon have created and translated a fact sheet of Autism for use in various holiday destinations and e-learning training available to employers within the locality. In addition they have designed passports for Autistic individuals to use within hospitals.

Tom Moore, Commissioning Manager – East Surrey (County Autism Lead) then spoke about the Surrey Autism Champions Network which is a team of individual experts, expert teams and expert systems of services. Surrey co-designed strategy and services and spoke of the Transforming Care Plan and Implementation. They have created several factsheets which are available online.

Finally Tom spoke of a Mental Health training DVD they co-produced which they are hoping to have online in the future.

Then an open discussion took place and the attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions of the panel and also share their own expertise and experiences.

During this discussion Dr Buchan informed the group of the recent presentation at the Autism Europe International Congress regarding prevalence rates.

Jon also informed the group that next year Autisn will be included in the Mental Health and GP data sets.

Autism Education Trust have created parent guides for parents when viewing schools.

After the networking lunch the next panel took to the floor with the first speaker remaining unnamed until Calvin’s presentation at our next monthly post-Diagnostic support group in October.

The next speaker was Christina Earl of EmployAbility who spoke of a recent project they have been engaged in. 15% of people with ASD are in employment. Christina spoke of her encouragement to autistic individuals to inform a line manager and/or HR manager of a diagnosis. Christina also informed the group about the National Autistic Society’s counselling service in relation to employment called ASSIST.

Sarah-Jane Critchley of the NAS spoke of her involvement with the Autism Education Trust which provides the largest national training programme for education including early years, schools and post-16. They provide free online resources also.

The final speakers of the day were Kevin Oakhill, Director of Education Service for Ambitious About Autism and Chris Cooper, Youth Patron. They spoke of the MyVoice which is a 3 year Department of Health funded project and the involvement of the Youth Council and Youth Patrons. They have also just been awarded the Autism Education Trust Youth contract. Chris spoke of his involvement with the Westminster Commission and thanked Ambitious About Autism for supporting him in obtaining employment.

An open floor discussion then took place. Everybody in the room agreed that EHC Plans were badly serving people currently and also that people aren’t necessarily applying for benefits needed in order to access local support services.

Dame Rhona Tutt has written guidance on Personal Budgets regarding the potential to get the right support.

In summary

We found this to be a very insightful, informative day with many different professionals and parents and particularly enjoyed the open discussion sections of the day where we could share expertise throughout the room.

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The Next Axia6th July 2022
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

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