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New blueprint for people with autism

DH announced that a new blueprint for commissioning high-quality care for people with autism should improve the services available to them

The Department of Health (DH) has announced that a new blueprint for commissioning high-quality care for people with autism should improve the services available to them.

Care Services Minister, Phil Hope, said: "Many people with autism are undiagnosed, misunderstood and looking for help. Today on World Autism Day [April 3] I want to make clear I am fully on their side."

The publication, called Services for Adults with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC): Good Practice Advice for Primary Care Trust and Local Authority Commissioners, provides good practice advice for NHS and local authority staff including:

* How to plan services that give young people with autism the right support as they move from using child to adult services
* Developing a better understanding of the needs of people with autism who live locally, to help fit services to their individual requirements
* Making sure the right services are available to everyone who needs them.

Meanwhile, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Essex has been told to apologise to newsreader, Alex Thomson, and his family. This follows a three-year battle by the family after it wrongly overturned its assessment that the boy was autistic.

An official inquiry found that it had done so at the request of the council, which was reluctant to meet the full cost of caring for him. Thomson's partner Sarah Spiller said: "In a letter the chief executive of the Trust stated that the paediatrician 'admits that she was under some degree of pressure from the education officer to withdraw her diagnosis'."

6th April 2009

From: Healthcare

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