Drive On World Autism Day

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People with autism will benefit from better services, with the help of a new blueprint for commissioning high quality care published by Care Services Minister, Phil Hope.

Phil Hope is calling upon the NHS to help drive improvements in services for people with autism, starting with using the best practice guidance.

The publication 'Services for adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC): good practice advice for primary care trust and local authority commissioners' is being published to coincide with World Autism Day.

It provides good practice advice for NHS and Local Authority staff including:

* how to plan services that give young people with autism the right support as they move from using child to adult services;

* developing a better understanding of the needs of people with autism who live locally, to help fit services to their individual requirements; and

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* making sure the right services are available to everyone who needs them.

The guide also highlights good practice in providing autism services. For example, in Gloucester and Liverpool dedicated teams have created joined-up approaches to local services to increase access to housing, education and employment, as well as health services.

Today's guidance comes ahead of a consultation for the first national strategy for adults with autism to be launched later this month.

Minister for Care Services, Phil Hope said: "Many people with autism are undiagnosed, misunderstood and looking for help. Today on World Autism Day I want to make clear I am fully on their side.

"I want the NHS to start driving improvements in services for people with autism, starting with taking this guidance to heart. It will be a small start in what I hope will be a big movement for change.

"People who work in the NHS and local authorities have told me they want more advice on how to provide the best possible services for adults with autism in their communities.

"That is where this guidance comes in. There is great work out there. Local teams in Gloucester and Liverpool are providing high quality services for adults with autism and this guidance will help other Trusts learn from their best practice.

"I am also looking forward to launching the first national strategy for adults with autism later this month"

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