The Warwickshire Autism Partnership Board have reviewed and drafted the next autism strategy as the current one covers the period until 2017. This work is now currently on hold to enable consideration of:

  • integrated commissioning across health and social care and how this may impact on pathways and service
  • NHS England announcement in August 2018 that learning disability and autism will be one of the clinical priorities in the next ten-year forward plan. The forward plan is due to be published in Winter 2018.

This page will be updated as soon as we know more.

Our all-age autism strategy (2014–2017) and delivery plan were published in 2014. We are committed to commissioning high-quality autism services and working with partner organisations to improve the lives and opportunities for children, young people and adults with autism. In order to achieve this, this three-year local strategy has been created with involvement and engagement from a wide range of people, including children and adults with autism and their families. Its purpose is to provide a clear plan for support in Warwickshire and identify objectives and actions, which reflect the local needs of people with autism whatever their age.

This strategy meets our statutory requirement as outlined in the Autism Act 2009 and the national adult autism strategy. This places a legal duty on all local authorities to develop and implement a local autism plan in partnership with health. It provides a clear and consistent joined-up approach to support throughout a person's life. It also highlights the importance of personalised services and support, offering individuals more choice and control, with a particular emphasis on a clear plan and support when moving from children’s to adult’s services. A co-productive approach has been adopted to shape and influence this strategy. A two-phase consultation process was vital in order to initially gather people’s views on different areas of a person’s life and then undertake a 'checking exercise' for respondents to confirm the accurate interpretation of these views as well as sharing future commissioning intentions.

Needs assessments

A local autism needs assessment has been completed providing an analysis of the predominantly quantitative data, available locally and partners’ systems along with the publicly available information on autism at a national and local level. This supplements the qualitative information and insight gained from the consultation and, together, they provide the most informed and accurate picture of autism in Warwickshire to date. There is a recognition that we do not have a comprehensive picture of the autism population in Warwickshire and this will be addressed through the implementation of this strategy.

Autism Partnership Board

Following an extensive recruitment process, we have set up an Autism Partnership Board (a multi-agency group) including people with autism and their families. This board’s primary role and purpose is to implement, monitor and track progress of the strategy and ensure that progress is reviewed. It is envisaged that over the duration of the strategy (2014-2017) there will be a number of small sub-groups formed, whose role will focus on working on completing key actions for each of the seven strategic objectives outlined in the delivery plan. These subgroups will be required to provide regular feedback to the Autism Partnership Board on the progress of the delivery plan.

Details of the strategy

The new strategy has seven key strategic objectives, which look at the delivery of the strategy while bearing in mind the savings required from our One Organisational Plan.

  • Developing a clear and consistent pathway, including the offer of support following diagnosis. This will support adults with autism to be diagnosed locally and offer support to people with autism and their families following diagnosis.
  • Increasing awareness and understanding of autism. By training frontline staff and professionals within local organisations and communities to have a greater understanding of autism, we aim to improve societal attitudes towards autism and promote a more positive image of autism and associated spectrum conditions.
  • Establishing a consistent, joined-up, approach to supporting people with autism within education, learning and employment. This is with the goal of helping people with autism to have positive experiences through increased access to education, learning and employment opportunities.
  • Looking at how services respond to young people with autism moving between children-focused to adult-focused services of support.
  • Determining how people on the autistic spectrum can access both specialist and mainstream services that meet their care and support needs.
  • Enhancing social inclusion, housing support and safety for people with autism. We will continue working with the voluntary and community sector to explore ways for local autism social and support groups to be further developed. Publicity for the Safer Places Scheme and Autism Attention Cards will also be increased to try to ensure that everyone with autism is aware of these existing services.
  • Supporting carers and families of people with autism. This will part-focus on delivery of objectives from the Carers Strategy while looking at the commissioning of Short Breaks services for people able to self-fund and to explore and maximise all opportunities for co-production by the carers of people with autism.