Give your views on autism and the NHS


The NHS recently announced that autism has been set as a priority for the next 10 years, and they are due to publish their plan in a month or two. This is very exciting and gives us hope for the future.

The Government is asking for information about the barriers to getting good services (in education and social care as well as health) and what the NHS could do to improve things.

Please have your say
- the survey is very short and can be found here


There are thousands who have felt disadvantaged in recent years, and this is an opportunity to have the need for access, training and understanding to be made core principles. It is also a great chance to share what has worked well for you - we need to learn from 'best practice'.

In commenting, you may consider whether issues for those with the PDA profile of Autism are different from others with autism (you may also refer them to the PDA Society for further information).

There are three sections of most interest (you only needs to answer the parts that you feel are most relevant) and these are the particular questions to look for (please note that there are word limits!)

Learning Disabilities and/or Autism

1. What more can the NHS do, working with its local partners?
2. How can we best improve experiences so people able to access the full range of services they need?


Mental Health

1. What should be the top priority for meeting peoples mental health needs? 
2. What gaps in service provision currently exist, and how do you think we can fill them?
3. People with physical health problems do not always have their mental health needs addressed; and people with mental health problems do not always have their physical health needs met. How do you think we can improve this?
4. What are the major challenges to improving support for people with mental health problems, and what do you think the NHS and other public bodies can do to overcome them?
5. How can we better personalise mental health services, involving people in decisions about their care and providing more choice and control over their support?


Life Stage - early life (which includes adolescents)

2. How can we improve how we tackle conditions that affect children and young people?
3. How should the NHS and other bodies build on existing measures to tackle the rising issues of childhood obesity and young people’s mental health?
4. How can we ensure children living with complex needs aren’t disadvantaged or excluded?

Referring back to our survey "Being Misunderstood" the types of problems regularly mentioned included:
  • a failure to understand the nature of 'demand avoidance'
  • lack of knowledge of suitable interventions or how to apply them
  • resistance to signpost to or explore the profile in a diagnostic assessment
  • a tendency to blame parents for their child's behaviours
  • the complete failure of mental health services to be able to support individuals
  • somewhat better experiences of education settings, though that did not always lead to attendance being possible
This all relates back to the training and mindset of different professional groups, not being up to date with latest research, failure to listen to individuals, poor pathways, lack of research in interventions and lack of investment in services, among other things. It's also important to share views about what does or could work!

The PDA Society will be submitting a response as an organisation, but it's really important for the government to hear individual voices so do please take a few minutes to complete the short survey before 30th September.

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