Here we detail some of the examples of good practice in local planning which currently exist.

Derbyshire Case Study

Derbyshire decided that, especially during a time of great change within health and social care, they needed to keep the profile of autism high.

To ensure autism remains high on the agenda, the local autism lead submits reports on progress to the local Adult Care Board and the Joint Commissioning Board. These boards, along with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) boards, decide on topics to be included on the Health and Wellbeing Board's agenda.

The autism lead recognised that although Health and Wellbeing Boards have a huge remit, it is important to get them thinking about autism. As a result, the Joint Strategic priority to implement the autism strategy has been endorsed by the Health and Wellbeing Board in Derbyshire and they can, therefore, request updates at any time.

The autism lead's progress reports to date have highlighted the local authority's responsibilities and how they are working to meet them. There is an ongoing expectation that the lead will continue to update on progress.

For more information, contact Deborah Jenkinson, Commissioning Manager, Adult Care on deborah.jenkinson@derbyshire.gov.uk

Hertfordshire Case Study

In 2006, the local authority in Hertfordshire appointed a project lead for autism and particularly Asperger syndrome, because it was recognised that this group was not having its needs met.

Hertfordshire has plans to set up an Asperger team, alongside the learning disability and mental health teams. The transition team set up by the local authority was immediately overwhelmed by demand for their services, demonstrating that a small team would not be able to handle all the required case management. They realised that the best way to utilise the team would be to support other teams to meet people’s needs instead.

The Asperger team, therefore, will not be a large team and will not aim to handle all caseloads, but will work closely with providers and agencies, as well as the learning disability team and mental health team, to ensure that they are equipped to support people with autism in the area.

The team will be funded by joint commissioning and will span the local authority and health trust. In Hertfordshire there are strong joint-commissioning arrangements. The local authority autism lead sits on the management board of the health trust, and her equivalent within the trust sits on the management board of the local authority, so that there is close liaison and awareness. This helps to ensure joined-up thinking and working.

For more information, contact Sue Darker, Assistant Director, Learning Disabilities and Mental Health, on sue.darker@hertfordshire.gov.uk