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Planning for the next 10 years of the NHS

NHS England have been developing a long term plan for the NHS, discussing how people with Learning disabilities and autism will be included in the plan for the next 10 years.

On Friday 21st September I attended one of the many conference meetings to discuss a long term plan within the NHS. A plan which will impact many. I attended as myself, an autistic adult and advocate, with hopes of contributing ideas.

Throughout the day several ideas and concepts were put forward, each relating to a specific topic; topics included: better start, better health, better value and all means all.

Below is an outline of the key points from the session relating solely to the NHS Autism Strategy:

  • School Expulsion – relating to the fact that many autistic pupils are being expelled from education due to a lack of support and reasonable adjustment
  • The creation of a Link Directory – a communication system between services allowing for effective multi-agency working
  • Diagnostic Criteria – outdated and rigid
  • Parental Support – ensuring parents of individuals on the spectrum receive sufficient support to ensure a ‘better start’ for their children
  • Stigma – promoting understanding and reducing stigma for autistic individuals
  • Self Referral – ensuring there are multi channel referrals, not just telephone appointments, as some find phone calls induce/increase anxiety

These points and many others will be passed on through NHS England, although the NHS will receive an interpretation of our ideas we hope our voices will be heard.

Unfortunately, all the conference meetings have ended, however NHS England do encourage you to contribute via online feedback:

A discussion guide on developing the long term plan for the NHS, is available from NHS England.

The guide is intended to help stimulate ideas on three key themes – life stage, clinical priorities and enablers of improvement.

It highlights some of the key challenges and some questions that NHS England would encourage you to answer through their online feedback form.

If you have any questions, please email Long Term Plan Engagement Team:” – NHS England

The deadline is this week, as the plan has to be submitted by 28th September!