Cheryl Gillan – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Cheryl Gillan on 2014-06-24.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Care Act 2014 Part I regulations are compatible with the revised Adult Autism Strategy (a) in general and (b) in relation to autism training for community care assessors.

Norman Lamb

The core principles of the Care Act 2014 and the regulations and statutory guidance which supports its implementation are to maintain the wellbeing of people who have care and support needs; support them in living independent lives; and ensuring there is a vibrant market to offer choice on how their needs might be met. These enhance the areas of action set out in the 2010 Autism Strategy and reaffirmed recently in Think Autism.

The Act will require local authorities to ensure all assessors are appropriately trained to carry out assessments. This builds on the statutory guidance Implementing Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives which followed the 2010 Adult Autism Strategy for England, and which required autism awareness training to be available to all staff working in health and social care and specialist training for those in key roles that have a direct impact on access to services for adults with autism.

Due to the complexities of assessing people who are deafblind, regulations under the Act will require their assessments to be carried out by a specialist assessor. One of the questions in the consultation document is whether specialist assessors should be required to carry out the assessment of people with other conditions, such as autism, and to explain why this should be the case. Based on the evidence we receive through the consultation we will consider if this requirement should be extended to other conditions.

The draft regulations and guidance were co-produced with stakeholders, and this included engaging with the National Autistic Society. The public consultation runs until 15 August 2014.