By Zandrea Stewart

Thank you to all of those who contributed to the Statutory Guidance consultation.  I am aware that all of the comments have now been reviewed and the statutory guidance is currently being reviewed to reflect the feedback, including the Autism Leads. 

I understand we remain in challenging times with conflicting demands and limited resource; however I do feel positive about the commitment local authorities continue to show for the Autism agenda and Transforming care.  

With that in mind I wanted to provide a gentle reminder to register the completion of the Autism Self-Assessment which is due to be completed on the 9th March.  Whilst this may seem some time off, this is an opportunity to work alongside key partners and self-advocates demonstrating the progress locally made. With a 100% return rate last year I am keen to continue to demonstrate our shared progress.

The evidence provided will form the good practice document we are due to develop in conjunction with Public Health England and LGA to share the innovative proactive and provide information and support across local authorities and the partnerships in the local implementation.

Please register if you haven’t already.

Capital Grant Money
If you haven’t already you should have received confirmation of the capital fund.
I understand that 148 – 152 Local Authorities has made contact with the DH Policy Lead regarding this, aimed to provide some resource locally to improve community connections for people with autism living in the local area.

If you think your area may have missed out on this opportunity or the communications regarding this, please feel free to contact Michael Swaffield directly at  or contact myself if I can be of any support

To note, there is a question in the self-assessment referring to the use of the money.

National Brokerage Project 
A three-year project run by The National Autistic Society, it is funded by the Department of Health’s Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund (IESD). The project is based in Plymouth, Northants, Leicestershire, Newcastle, Greater Manchester and their surrounding areas.

It provides people with autism and their families with support to plan and make personalised choices, receiving the right support in meeting their assessed needs. Support brokers develop plans with the person, help in negotiations with Local Authorities and assist in the implementation of the plan. Support brokers can also support the reviewing process. 

The key aims of brokerage are:

• To empower people who have autism and their families to understand social care and health systems. 
• To share best practice across all sectors UK-wide. 
• To identify internal and external researchers and implement research measures to quantify satisfaction of brokerage support. 
• To test and develop a sustainable model for the delivery of brokerage support.

Outcomes include:

• People who have autism have increased self esteem
• Community solutions; people get a life and not just a service
• People who have autism having reduced social isolation
• People who have autism having choice and control over support planning and processes
• Long term cost saving for health and social care

Personal Story:

‘T has high support needs and this would normally have meant her moving into a residential setting. After using the brokerage service, T chose to stay at home and be supported by her mum and specialist support workers rather than move into a residential setting. Her budget was £30K per annum. T’s choice of support has saved the health and social care system £42,000 a year.’

For more information contact: Lesley Waugh, National Brokerage Co-ordinator
Mobile: 07799347468