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Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care visits CNWL Camden MOSAIC centre ahead of announcing autism strategy review

5 December 2018

Yesterday (Tuesday 4 December) the Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage met with CNWL staff and parents of  young autistic children, to launch the government drive to improve the lives of autistic children and adults.

It was announced today that the government plan to refresh the autism strategy next year which will extend to children and young people.

Visiting the Camden MOSAIC centre, Caroline said current outcomes and life chances for children and young people on the autism spectrum are simply not good enough.

 “I want to see young people on the autism spectrum given the same start in life as any other child. Currently outcomes simply aren’t good enough, with too many autistic children falling through the cracks and not getting the care and support they need.

“With the right support they can live happy, healthy and independent lives within their own communities so it’s vital we have a national autism strategy that works for both children and adults.”

MP Caroline Dinenage (centre) talks with parents and staff

The review will look at:

  • Transforming outcomes for autistic children by ensuring they get the right support in their communities and joining up health, care and education services to address autistic children’s needs holistically.
  • Ensuring that diagnostic services are developed to improve earlier diagnosis of autism in line with clinical guidance.
  • Improving the transition between children and adult services, which many families find difficult, so no young people fall through the cracks, and ending the inappropriate reliance on inpatient hospital care.
  • Improving our understanding of autism and all its profiles, including recently identified forms such as Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

As part of this review, the government will collect evidence from autistic children and adults, families, carers and professionals on how to improve services and support. For the first time, the government’s strategy for improving the lives of autistic adults will then be extended to cover children as well.

The review will inform the launch of the new joint adults and children strategy in autumn 2019.

Our CNWL staff explain to MP Caroline Dinenage the work involved at Camden MOSAIC

Camden MOSAIC Service, provided by CNWL and the London Borough of Camden, supports children and young people with disabilities (such as autism) to become more independent; working closely with families.

Sarah Hulme, CNWL Head of Children, Young People and Family Services, welcomed Caroline on a tour of the Kentish Town centre where the service is delivered. Sarah said, “Parents spoke very positively with the Minister about their experiences over the last 11 years and the benefits of co-location here.

The service has worked hard to reduce waiting times to make sure families get the help they need as soon as possible.”

Supporting people on the autism spectrum or with learning disabilities is one of the four clinical priority areas in the NHS’s long-term plan, backed by an additional £20.5 billion of funding a year by 2024.

Whilst visiting MOSAIC, Caroline explained why this is so important, watch this below: