I finally received a response after chasing No.10 three times.

 

Petition update
Who will look after our children when we are no longer around?

 

Response from Dept Health and Social Care .

 

4 Apr 2024

Dear All Signatories,

 

I finally received a response below after delivering over 17k signatures and a letter to No 10 in December.

 

Our ref: DE-1487241

 

Dear Dr Kennedy,
Thank you for your correspondence of 14 December about funding and support for adults with autism.
I have been asked to reply.
I appreciate the concerns you have raised, and for highlighting the Autism Alliance report into social care services for autistic adults. These will act as useful contributions to support and inform a range of our work across the Department, including the development of the autism statutory guidance, the Building the Right Support programme, and adult social care reforms.

 

I would like to reassure you that the Department is working to ensure that autistic people have the right support in place to lead ordinary lives in their communities. The Department’s national autism strategy, published in July 2021, acknowledges the importance of autistic people being able to access community support, including social care, and that this should be available at the right time and tailored to their needs.

 

This Government is fully committed to the 10-year vision for adult social care set out in the People at the Heart of Care white paper. The Department want to ensure that everyone, including autistic people, can access high quality care that enables choice, control and independence. The Department wants care to be outstanding quality, personalised and accessible.

 

It is the responsibility of local authorities to assess individuals’ care and support needs, and, where eligible, for meeting those needs. To support local authorities, the Government has made available up to £8.1 billion over this financial year and next to support adult social care and discharge. This includes up to £3.2 billion of additional funding over 2023/24 and up to £4.9 billion in 2024/25. This funding will enable local authorities to buy more care packages, help people leave hospital on time,
improve workforce recruitment and retention, and reduce waiting times for care. In addition, in March 2023 the Department provided £27m of targeted funding to digitise and streamline local authority assessments to better manage waiting lists and support individuals to access the right care at the
right time.

The Department is also taking action to review how local authorities are meeting their Care Act duties. A new duty on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to assess local authorities’ delivery of their Care Act 2014 duties went live on 1 April 2023 and the formal assessment period has started. The CQC will examine how well local authorities deliver their Care Act duties, including those that apply to autistic people. This will increase transparency and accountability and – most importantly – drive improved
outcomes for people who draw on care and support, including autistic people.

 

In regard to your point about autistic people in inpatient units, the Department is determined to reduce
the number of autistic people in mental health hospitals by supporting people to live well in their communities. In July 2022, the Department published the Building the Right Support (BtRS) Action Plan, which sets out cross-Government actions in the short and longer-term to reduce reliance on mental health inpatient care for autistic people and people with a learning disability.

Implementation of this Plan is being overseen by the Building the Right Support Delivery Board, which includes representatives from across Government and public services who are working together to drive progress, identifying new actions and mitigations as appropriate.

 

The Department is working on the development of updated autism statutory guidance, which will support the NHS and local authorities to deliver improved outcomes for autistic people. This will
include setting out what local authorities must be doing to meet their Care Act duties for autistic people. The Department is also engaging with national autism charities including members of the Autism Alliance to support development of the updated guidance.

 

I hope this reply is helpful.

Yours sincerely,
I Matthews

 

Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries

 

Department of Health and Social Care

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