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Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase understanding of the autistic spectrum among the health and care services; and if so, how.

Photo of Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In line with the statutory guidance for the Autism Act 2009, local authorities and National Health Service organisations in England should ensure that those working in health and social care receive not only general autism awareness training but different levels of specialist training relevant to their roles, where this is needed to fulfil their responsibilities.

Health Education England is leading the development of an Autism Core Competency Education and Training Framework. The Framework, which is expected to be completed by summer 2019, will set out the different levels of skills and competencies needed to meet the specific needs of autistic people. We expect the Framework to be used by local NHS and social care organisations to inform the content of training and determine the appropriate level of training needed by their staff in autism awareness.

We are also currently consulting on proposals for mandatory learning disability and autism training for health and care staff. The proposals under consideration will ensure that staff working in health and social care have the right training to understand the needs of people with a learning disability and autistic people and the skills to provide the most effective care and support.

The consultation ends on the 12 April. Following this, we will review the responses received and carefully consider the next steps.

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