The Health Service Executive ( HSE) has established a cross divisional working group to undertake a review of the level of supports and services to people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The working group will consider the operational effectiveness of existing health services responses in addressing the particular needs of those with ASD. It will also seek to identify models of good practice. The working group will report on its findings by the end of September 2017.
Future provision of services for children and adults with ASD must be in line with the Government’s commitment to mainstreaming, where people with a disability have access to the same services as the general population, and in addition receive the appropriate support and intervention to address individual needs. This integrated approach to meeting the health needs of people with disabilities is designed to ensure generic health are addressed by primary care teams and that only these with specific needs, where specialist knowledge, skill or expertise is required, are referred to specialist services.
The HSE is inviting service users, parents, staff and advocacy groups to contribute to the review through written submissions and focus groups. Submissions should be in respect of their experience relating to:
- Effectiveness of existing services
- Models of good practice
Submissions should be between 500 and 1000 words and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 12th of September 2017. Submissions will be acknowledged by the working group. However, the group will not enter into correspondence in respect of individual submissions. The working group has been asked to report by the end of September 2017.
Tony Canavan, Chief Officer and Chair of the working group says, “Geographically, we know that current services can vary from robust, comprehensive and integrative to isolated, patchy and even at times ineffective. Different models and approaches to the provision of health services are evident across the nine community healthcare organisations. This approach is no longer appropriate or sustainable in providing equity of access and intervention to people with ASD. We look forward to completing the review, incorporating knowledge and experience from parents, advocates and staff to enable us to put forward an equitable, standardised model for our service users.”
Further information about the Review is available here.