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One in 100 people in the UK are on the autistic spectrum


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 autistic people 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: 

  • Reducing the gap in life expectancy for autistic people 

  • 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. 

On the 5 December 2018 we were really pleased to see that Governments announcement that will be leading a “review to improve the lives of autistic children”. The review will inform the new joint adults and children autism strategy to be published in autumn 2019 click here to find out more

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.

A draft of the Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People is now available.

You are invited to review the draft framework and provide your comments and feedback by completing an online survey. get involved via Skills for Health. 

Submissions close Monday 1st July 2019. 

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 Capabilities 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. The purpose of the framework is to support development and planning of the workforce, and to inform the design and delivery of education and training programmes.

The project team includes people working for Skills for Health, the National Autistic Society, Opening Minds Training and Consultancy Ltd and Skills for Care. This group includes some autistic people and people with experience of having autistic family members.

Development of the Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People 

Key achievements 

- Coproduction workshops completed and outcomes reviewed 

- A first full draft of the Autism Core Capabilities framework has been developed. 

- Three further coproduction workshops have been completed these focused on consultation with autistic children and young people. 


Upcoming milestones:  

- The public consultation of the draft framework will run from the 3 June 2019 0 1 July 2019 

- The accessible version of the framework will be developed mid-July 2019 


If you wish to register your interest in this work and provide consultation on the framework as it reaches the draft stage visit the skills for health website. You will then be invited to take part in an online survey as part of the consultation process (expected early 2019).

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

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