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Autism: Health Services

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many providers of NHS services for people with autism are (a) direct NHS, (b) private, (c) voluntary and (d) independent providers; and how many such providers are classified as social enterprises; (269523)

(2) how much funding his Department provided for the commissioning of autism services in the last year for which figures are available.

National health service services are commissioned locally and information on the types and numbers of providers of NHS services for people with autism is not held centrally.

For 2007-08, and also for the Comprehensive Spending Review 07 (2008-11), the Department did not provide grants for the commissioning of autism services.

A statutory duty of partnership requires primary care trusts and NHS trusts to participate in local strategic partnerships and the development of local area agreements when agreeing commissioning plans for the delivery of autism services in their locality. The Department published on 2 April this year “Services for adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC): good practice advice for primary care trust and local authority commissioners”, which reminds commissioners of the need to plan for autistic services and provides best examples of how they may be implemented. A copy of this publication has been placed in the Library.