15 Jan Jane Howson – Welcome message
Welcome to the new Autism Alliance website. 2016/17 was my first year as Chair of the Autism Alliance. We have had a very busy year. We have been members of the Westminster Commission, the Royal College of GPs Advisory Group, the Transforming Care National Provider Forum and the Hidden Impairments National Group. We also supported the National Autism Project.
This year saw us say goodbye to Scottish Autism as the devolved government arrangements meant that there was less and less congruence between the agendas south of the border and north. It also saw us say hello to Spectrum from Cornwall and their Chief Executive Mary Simpson is already having a hugely positive impact on the work of the Alliance.
We were part of the Autism Programme Board and were consulted by DH on the shape of the new arrangements. We are now part of 5 of the 6 task and finish groups that form the governance arrangements for the Autism Strategy.
We launched our neurodiversity toolkit in conjunction with DWP. We co chaired the Cross Sector Partnership with the National Autistic Society, sponsored by DH and this focussed on CAMHs and skills development for assessors, undertaking social care assessments.
As an Alliance we have also had meetings focussed on General Data Protection Regulations and the implications of case law regarding recent minimum wage rulings.
Over the next year we are looking at how we can support our members with challenges around the minimum wage, fee reductions and wider cost pressures. We will look at how we support colleagues to drive up the quality of provision via a new practice group.
We will look at how we can work collectively, both internally and with others, to engage with public sector colleagues and Government to ensure that in times of austerity autistic people are receiving the services that they need, and are entitled to. Collaborative working is key to presenting a strong and clear agenda and this will be a major priority for us going forward.
Chair, Autism Alliance
Chief Executive, Autism East Midlands