Act Now consultation group 

The Welsh Government has launched a consultation on a Code of Practice on the Delivery of Autism Services. The Code makes clear what is required of Local Authorities, Health Boards and other public bodies in relation to services and support for autistic people and their families in Wales.

This Welsh Government’s consultation is separate to previous National Assembly for Wales consultations on an Autism Bill. The proposed Autism (Wales) Bill seeks to place new duties on public bodies, including the Welsh Government, to improve autism support and services.

The Code of Practice on the Delivery of Autism Services seeks to clarify existing duties under current legislation and offers guidance to those providing services and support for autistic people.

Read about our Your Act campaign and why we are asking the National Assembly to support the Autism (Wales) Bill.

The draft Code of Practice includes clarity around requirements on Local Authorities and Health Boards to:  

  • Designate an Autism Lead: A named person within each region will; have responsibility for developing and reviewing diagnostic pathways; report to the regional partnership board on the delivery of autism services, and; ensure effective engagement with local stakeholders.
  • Ensure compliance with waiting time data collection requirements: Each Health Board must record the same information when undertaking diagnostic assessments. This will help to monitor each Health Board’s progress against the waiting time standards, currently six months between referral and first face-to-face appointment.
  • Make people aware of their rights in relation to social care assessments: The Social Services and Well Being (Wales) Act provides a right for people to request a social care assessment or carer’s assessment.

The consultation on the Code of Practice is open now and will run until 1 March 2019. During this time, autistic people, their families, friends and professionals are encouraged to read the Code and share their views.

Read Consultation Document

Meleri Thomas, External Affairs Manager at the National Autistic Society Cymru, said:

'We welcome the clarity that the autism Code gives on what autistic people are already entitled to access under existing Welsh Government legislation, notably, the Social Services and Well-Being (Wales) Act 2014 and the NHS (Wales) Act 2006. This is an encouraging step forward.

'We will work with the Welsh Government as closely as possible to ensure that the Code will lead to a clearer understanding from public bodies of their roles and responsibilities in relation to autism.   

'However, autistic people and their families continue to struggle on a daily basis to access appropriate services and support. It’s clear that the existing duties alone, aren’t enough.

'Alongside the existing laws, we strongly believe that the Autism Bill currently being considered by the National Assembly can steer us much closer toward the drastic improvement necessary in the services and support that autistic people across Wales need and deserve.'