At its meeting on 26 October 2016, The Committee for Health & Social Care approved the Guernsey Autism Framework and recommended this to the Disability and Inclusion Board as fulfilling the requirement set out in the States Billet of November 2013 that HSC should develop such a framework.
The document is the result of extensive consultation with islanders and professionals across the States and voluntary sectors. Its recommendations have been accepted by the Committee and will be progressed both as part of business as usual, but also as part of the transformation of health and social care.
The Framework acknowledges that there are significant gaps in provision for people with autism, and that previous attempts to improve this have not been sustained. Building on the experience in this and other jurisdictions (notably the Scottish Autism strategy) the Guernsey Autism Framework provides short terms goals and recommendations for leadership, coordination and delivery of services. It also provides quality indicators to measure improvements against in the longer term. This aims to ensure that this time we get it right for people who need it. The States can only do this by working in partnership with islanders and the voluntary sector who support them.
Key to the delivery of the strategy will be the appointment of an autism lead in HSC, as well as the development of an autism 'hub', planning permission for which has been granted at Le Vieux Jardin, with completion expected in 2018.
There is a plan for HSC to partner with Autism Guernsey and the National Autistic Society on Guernsey to create a Guernsey Autism Partnership (GAP). This will provide a regular drop in information and advice service for islanders. The plan is to:
- Offer people with autism, their families and professionals' information and advice about autism.
- Act as an information hub, to understand and respond to the needs of the autism community. (DATA on un met need)
The small team will seek to:
- Support individuals to access the services they need, whether they are in the community or autism specific.
- Guidance to overcome barriers such as an unaddressed diagnosis and delayed intervention of support.
- Access to a library of information and resources about autism.
- A safe and friendly place to speak confidentially to someone who understands autism.