To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure compliance with the recommendation made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in 2017 that GP practices improve recording of autism; whether a register of people with a diagnosis of autism has been implemented; what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of health inequality for autistic people; and if he will make a statement.
The NHS Long Term Plan was published on 7 January 2019 and commits the National Health Service to including a ‘digital flag’ in the patient record by 2023/24, which will ensure staff know a patient has a learning disability or autism. In addition, NHS staff will receive information and training on supporting people with a learning disability and/ or autism. Sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems will be expected to make sure all local healthcare providers are making reasonable adjustments to support people with a learning disability or autism. NHS England will also pilot the introduction of a specific health check for people with autism, and if successful, extend it more widely.
On 5 December 2018, the Department announced that we will be launching a comprehensive review of ‘Think Autism’, the national autism strategy, this is to ensure it remains fit for purpose. We want an autism strategy that works for all autistic people, and that is why, working very closely with the Department for Education, we will be extending the strategy to include children.