Agenda item

Autism Strategy - Update

Anne Marie Lubanski, RMBC, to present an update


Garry Parvin, Commissioning, gave the following powerpoint presentation:-


Our Vision

·           To work towards making Rotherham an autism friendly place to live.  This means a place where you can get a timely diagnosis with support, meet professionals with a good understanding of Autism, find services, organisations and employers that make reasonable adjustments when required, where people can feel safe, have aspirations and fulfil their potential and become a full member of the local community


Key Activity – Children and Young People

·           Working with partners, our voluntary organisations and community groups, we have identified 5 priority areas on which to focus our implementation plan.  Some examples of the operational activity that is underway are:-

A digital diagnostic pathway has been commissioned from Healios who will support local CAMHS service

Planning is underway to redesign our C&YP pathway in 2020-21

Education settings have engaged in training licensed by Autism Education Trust

New specialist education places have been created, at primary and secondary, for children with Autism

Rotherham Opportunities College offers local post-19 education provision

Project Search offers supported internships

Rotherham Partner Carers Forum are commissioned by Rotherham CCG to offer regular drop-in sessions to support families on the diagnostic pathway


Key Activity Areas - Adults

·           Planning to introduce a Rotherham based adult diagnostic and post-diagnostic service from Q1 2020/21

·           Will maintain existing capacity in Sheffield service for one year to ensure waiting list is managed

·           Launched Autism Alert Card – this was done in partnership between South Yorkshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Council, NHS and Rotherham NAS

·           Parent Carer Forum and VOICE co-chair the Autism Partnership Board


Priority 1: Starting Well

·           All Rotherham’s autistic children and young people are healthy and safe from harm


Priority 2:  Developing Well

·           All Rotherham’s autistic children and young people start school ready to learn for life


Priority 3:  Moving on well to Independence

·           All Rotherham’s autistic children and young people are ready for the world of work


Priority 4:  Living Well

·           Autistic adults living in Rotherham will get the right support when needed


Priority 5:  Ageing Well

·           Autistic adults living in Rotherham will be better supported as they grow old


Transforming Care

·           Since 2015, Rotherham has been working on a national programme with Sheffield, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire to reduce the numbers of people with a learning disability who are detained in specialist hospitals – Transforming Care

·           Rotherham currently has 8 people detained in specialist hospitals – 4 people in hospital beds commissioned by Rotherham CCG and 4 people in hospital beds commissioned by NHS England

·           Rotherham has successfully discharged 5 people back into the community over the last 2 years

·           Rotherham will discharge a further 4 people in 2020/21.  The population has changed in that 3 people have Autism and not a learning disability.  A specialised housing and care support offer is required and this had taken time to develop


Autism Alert Card

·           Rotherham Council, South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham CCG have worked together to develop the Autism Alert Card

·           This will ensure the needs of autistic people are known by the Police and criminal justice system – previously a significant gap


Ongoing Challenges

·           Supporting services and the community to be open to support people with Autism: for the community to celebrate neurodiversity

·           Diagnosis and post-diagnostic offer for Children and Young People and Adults

·           Rotherham CCG and RDaSH are working to create ‘all age’ solutions to address the diagnosis waiting list issues and develop a local post-diagnostic offer for adults

·           Ensuring that the right support is available and is cost effective


Autism Strategy Progress and Timeline

·           A draft version of the Strategy has been created and was in the process of editing

·           A workshop with the Autism Partnership Board was planned for 18th March to revise the online version of the Strategy

·           The Strategy would be built around people’s stories

·           The Strategy would be presented to Cabinet in June 2020

·           It was planned that the Strategy would be formally launched in July 2020


Discussion ensued with the following issues raised/clarified:-


-          The Strategy had taken longer that originally anticipated but confident that it was the right and effective Strategy

-          There was a need to make it clear what the governance arrangements were

-          The need for clear milestones and outcomes year on year should be discussed in the forthcoming workshops

-          How was the training accessed by children and young people?

-          How many specialist education places were they and where were they?

-          The Strategy would link into Rotherham’s Employment Strategy to ensure there were job opportunities for those with Autism


Garry was thanked for his presentation.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the presentation be noted.


(2)  That Garry Parvin supply the member concerned with the answers to their questions.

ACTION:-  Garry Parvin


(3)  That liaison take place with Becky Woolley with regard to submitting an update to the Board.

ACTION:-  Garry Parvin/Beck Woolley

Supporting documents: