The Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle has today (16th July) published a new Code of Practice for Delivery of Autism Services, which will come into effect on 1st September this year.
Autism affects an individual’s social communication skills, it is estimated that one in a hundred people will have autism, which can impact on their lives in many different ways. The new code has been developed with autistic people and their parents and carers, and with third sector organisations, practitioners and services delivering support. More information on autism can be found on the National Autism Team website.
The code is made under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the NHS (Wales) Act 2006 and will provide clarity to local health boards, NHS trusts, local authorities and Regional Partnership Boards about their responsibilities and services they are required to provide to support autistic people in their day to day lives.
A delivery plan has also been published alongside the code, which outlines the first year of priorities including a focus on recovery of services following the COVID-19 pandemic, inclusion of the Welsh Language in service delivery and support for autistic people who identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic.
Autism is one of a range of neurodevelopment conditions, to understand increasing demand for support a review of all age neurodevelopmental services in Wales commenced in February this year. The review will understand the current situation across Wales, identifying the demand, capacity and design of neurodevelopmental services for children, young people and adults. This work is due to be completed by spring 2022 and will inform future decisions on advancements in service design and delivery.
Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle, said:
The new code of practice is a true partnership approach with those from the third sector, clinicians and most importantly autistic people, parents and carers inputting into it. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this vital piece of work.
Now that the code is published we will not sit back, I want to drive its implementation and make sure it makes a difference to the services people access and their daily lives.
Autism is only one of a range of neurodevelopmental conditions, and all of these conditions bring challenges for children and adults and their parents and carers. The lessons and good practice we have learnt from developing this code of practice will inform future planning for neurodevelopmental services.