To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure professional awareness of diagnostic pathways will be prioritised among (a) health bodies and (b) local authorities in the statutory guidance on implementing the adult autism strategy.
The Department is currently seeking views on proposed new statutory guidance for local authorities and National Health Service organisations to support the implementation of Think Autism, the update to the 2010 adult autism strategy.
The consultation looks at issues including the identification and diagnosis of autism in adults, and the proposal that NHS England local audit teams should look at people’s experiences of the diagnostic process locally and assure themselves that this is acceptable. The consultation period began on 7 November and closes on 19 December 2014.
Responses are invited from a wide range of people and groups, including adults with autism, families and carers, health and social care organisations that plan, commission and provide services for autism and their families. The Department intends to issue the statutory guidance in February 2015.
Local authority areas will also report back on progress they are making on autism diagnosis and other issues in Public Health England’s forthcoming national autism self-assessment exercise on implementing the Adult Autism Strategy.