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Autism: Children

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 7 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what statutory duties there are on participants in the commissioning process for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to take account of the needs of children with an autistic spectrum disorder. (325737)

From 1 April 2008, local authorities and primary care trusts have a statutory duty to produce a joint strategic needs assessment to address the health care needs of their local populations to inform the strategic planning and commissioning process.

Under the new Statutory Guidance on Children's Trusts, issued on 22 March 2010, the Children's Trust Board becomes responsible from 1 April 2010 for producing the children and young people's plan (CYPP), a joint strategy which sets out how the partners of the Children's Trust Board will co-operate to improve the well-being of children and young people within the local area, working together to commission services to address local identified needs. Each plan is required to include an outline of the key actions, as identified by the needs assessment, planned to achieve the outcome for children and young people who:

have special educational needs within the meaning of section 312 of the Education Act; and/or

are disabled within the meaning of section 1 of the Disability Discrimination Act.

This would include listing the actions that will be taken to address the needs of children and young people with autistic spectrum disorder.