Autism: Death

Department of Health written question – answered on 27th April 2016.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to measure and improve the rate of premature mortality of people with autism who have no co-occurring learning disability.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will expand the scope of the Learning Disability Mortality Review to include people with autism and a learning disability.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

The National Health Service is taking action to reduce premature death by increasing annual health checks for people with learning disabilities, including for those who also have autism. The NHS is working to reduce variation and improve care for physical health conditions that disproportionately impact on people with learning disabilities who also may have autism, including epilepsy and cancer. NHS England has commissioned the world's first Learning Disability Mortality Review Programme to support local areas to review deaths of people with learning disabilities and to use the information to improve service provision. This review programme for people with learning disabilities includes those who also have autism.

Think Autism set out a clear, cross Government programme of action, developed alongside people with autism, their families and carers to improve their lives and reduce premature mortality through better access to healthcare by making adjustments to services. This includes supporting the Royal College of General Practitioners Autism Initiative to improve understanding of autism amongst general practitioners (GPs).

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