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The National Autistic Society suggest that 1 in 100 people are on the autistic spectrum in the UK


We are working collaboratively to identify the right skills, values and behaviours the workforce require, so that people experience excellent care and support.

The National Autistic Society suggest that over 700,000 (1 in 100) people are on the autistic spectrum in the UK, more recent findings published by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that this number could be closer to 1 in 59. For these people and their families, there is often a battle to get the information, support and care they need. Fundamental struggle exist for people with autism in engaging with the world around them, leading to difficulties accessing adequate services.

In March of 2018 the Government published the “Think Autism strategy governance refresh” in which, to ensure future sustainability of the workforce caring for and supporting people of all ages with autism, it laid out two overarching strategy objectives:

  1. Reducing the gap in life expectancy for autistic people
  1. Autistic people are able to play a full role in society

The two objective where broken down across 5 domains of which workforce development became the responsibility of the Department of Health and Social Care and Health Education England.

What are we doing now?

Health Education England have been directed by the task and finish group members that make up the workforce development to support the development of the first national Autism core skills and competency framework for health and care staff, and staff in organisations with public facing responsibilities. The framework will be required to span all ages and will need to demonstrate the collaborative nature of its development (including co-production with autistic people and their families) across multiple partners.

Our aspirations

The framework is an essential first step to better meeting the needs of people who need and require access to services. It is our aspiration to work with others during 2019 to identify current resources available at all levels bench marked against the framework. We would also like to parallel this against a piece of work carried out across an international platform to ascertain what good looks like so that we can support the workforce to further develop in a real and sustainable way that will make real changes to people with lived experiences and their families.

Our vision

Children and adults with or without an official identification of Autistic Spectrum Conditions have the right to receive support when they need it, from a workforce that is equipped with the right skills, values and behaviours. We would like to continue to work with experts by experience, their families and other experts in the field to support the workforce to continue to grow and evolve their practices so that they can better support people to live a good life.

How to get in touch?

The team currently leading on the national Autism programme can be contacted at autism@hee.nhs.uk for general enquires

For all parliamentary enquires please contact the Public & Parliamentary Accountability team at parliamentary@hee.nhs.uk

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