Tees Autism Partnership Group is made up of representatives from Local Commissioners and Health, along with parents/carers and MAIN – Taking Autism Personally as the engagement link for the group with the Autism Community in Teesside. The group was formed in 2005 following a Strategic Health Authority review of Mental Health and Learning Disability services that highlighted shortfalls in the provision of services for people with Autism.
In November 2009 The Autism Act was introduced and made two key provisions that: –
1. The Government produce an Adult Autism Strategy by 1 April 2010; and
2. The Secretary of State for Health issues statutory guidance for Local Authorities and local health bodies on supporting the needs of adults with Autism by 31 December 2010.
On 17 December 2010, the Government published statutory guidance for local councils and local NHS bodies setting out what they have to do to ensure they meet the needs of adults with autism in England.
The guidance sends a clear message that local councils and local NHS bodies in England must:
• Provide autism awareness training for all staff;
• Provide specialist autism training for key staff, such as GPs and community care assessors;
• Not refuse a community care assessment for adults with Autism based solely on IQ;
• Appoint an autism lead in their area;
• Develop a clear pathway to diagnosis and assessment for adults with Autism; and
• Commission services based on adequate population data.
The aim of the Tees Autism Partnership is to ensure these key points are addressed on a Local basis and ensure that the Autism Strategy is driven forward and implemented for people on Teesside.
One of the major achievements of the group was the recent production of a Tees Wide Autism Strategy. The strategy was developed over several months, working closely with families and adults on the Autism Spectrum through a variety of mediums from Social Media, Face to face case studies, electronic questionnaires and seminars which as our World Autism Day 2013.
The document is expected to be made available in the next few weeks and will be made public via a variety of websites, including this page. It is expected that this document, which encompasses the collective voice of the Autism Community in Teesside, will be the benchmark for all four Local Authorities (Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees) and Health to ensure the key areas for delivery and change are those which are important to Adults on the Autism Spectrum on Teesside. MAIN would like to thank each and every participant for contributing to this document and ensuring we are making a difference to the lives of people affected by Autism in Teesside.
The Group meets bi monthly and is open to parents and carers, however MAIN are happy to represent YOUR voice and ensure that YOUR views are represented even if you can’t attend the meetings.
The group wants to also ensure that YOU are kept up to date with what is happening on Tees so you know the members are taking YOUR issues seriously and progressing vital issues for you and your area.