Norfolk County Council, clinical commissioning groups and their partners want to listen to autistic people, their families and people with an interest in autism.
Working with autistic people, the Norfolk Autism Partnership Board (NAPB) have created a local autism strategy called My Autism, Our Lives, Our Norfolk and easy read guide.
This sets out how support and services need to develop in Norfolk.
The NAPB have also worked with public health to produce an assessment of autism needs.
The Norfolk Autism Partnership Board makes decisions to drive the work of developing our response to autism. It meets four times a year to inform the creation and implementation of an action plan to deliver the national autism strategy in Norfolk.
The NAPB take feedback from and deliver plans to several different working groups. The NAPB particularly aims to influence the local authority and NHS commissioners to develop improved services for children, young people and adults who have or may have autism.
The board itself is inclusive, ensuring the active participation of a wide range of experts by experience, parents and carers.
The board constantly seeks to raise awareness of autism within the wider community and works to help autistic people be fully included in society.
There are several different ways you can find out about or get involved in the work of the Norfolk Autism Partnership.
If you’d like to find out more about the Norfolk Autism Partnership, you can sign up to receive:
Autism Norfolk Forum is a meeting for autistic people of all ages and their families, along with anyone with an interest in autism. You can meet members of the Norfolk Autism Partnership Board to get updates about its ongoing work and share back with the forum autism themes on what is working well and not so well.
NAPB working groups oversee the implementation of plans set out by the board. These groups are inclusive and involve experts by experience, parents and carers. Every member of the group has a defined role, with responsibility and ownership to explore all solutions to problems.
There are currently five working groups under the board: engagement with people, data collection, diagnosis pathways, education, and workforce development. They meet approximately once a month.
You can also apply to join the NAPB itself. This involves meeting four times a year to help to create and deliver the local autism strategy. Your role is to contribute your and the autism networks you are involved in autism experiences, that can inform the continued implementation of an action plan to deliver the national autism strategy in Norfolk.
The NAPB is a partnership of statutory bodies, autistic people, families, carers, voluntary organisations and service providers. We value your feedback on any aspect of the partnership and how we work together to deliver the local autism strategy.
Download our feedback process document to find out how to send us a compliment, comment or complaint.
The Data Working Group oversees the development of the National Autism Self-Assessment framework exercise.
It also oversees the development of a central point of information about autism that informs planning across children's and adults' social services.
The working group is looking to design and implement an autism dashboard to enable the partnership to understand and measure progress quickly and easily. The autism dashboard will be based on the nine priorities of the local autism strategy and how to measure successful progress. On 22 January 2020, at a coproduction event that involved autistic board members and voluntary organisations, members focused on priority one and three of the local autism strategy. On 29 January 2020, the board approved the approach taken by the coproduction event with a plan in development to deliver the remaining seven priorities.
The Diagnosis Working Group oversees the delivery of a transparent autism diagnostic pathway that can be clearly understood and has waiting times within National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines.
The Adult Diagnosis Service is delivered by Norfolk Community Health and Care. The service is called Autism Service Norfolk.
The Adult Diagnosis Service is available to people aged 18 and over without a learning disability. To find out more about the service and how to get referred, visit the Autism Service Norfolk page.
The Diagnosis Working Group is supporting commissioners and the service to improve waiting times and develop a pre- and post-diagnosis support service.
The children’s pathways to getting an assessment for autism vary greatly between areas. For further information, see our Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) page.
The Diagnosis Working Group is monitoring the ongoing development of children’s pre- and post-diagnosis support and making recommendations for consideration.
Working with clinical commissioning groups, we commissioned RethinkPartners to review Norfolk Neurodiversity pathways that include autism.
RethinkPartners worked with professionals and people with neurodiversity issues to develop a list of recommendations.
If approved, these recommendations will lead to the development and implementation plan to improve all current pathways.
On the recommendations of the board on 29 January 2020, the working group will review its membership to ensure greater coproduction through the partnership and build a wider communication network.
The Engagement Working Group seeks new ways to raise awareness of autism and communicate our messages to others.
On 29 January 2020, the board approved launching the local autism strategy, distributing an adult autism questionnaire and promoting partnership membership during World Autism Week. An awareness raising event will be held from 9.30am-3pm on 31 March 2020 at the Dukes Head Hotel, King’s Lynn.
The working group has developed a new and improved membership process, consent form, application form, code of conduct and complaints process. These are available to download from this page. It continues to oversee the Autism Norfolk Forums and develop ways to effectively engage with people.
The Workforce Development Working Group is currently updating autism training to come into line with the new guidance from the Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People (2019). This includes updating the elearning programme to make it more user-friendly and accessible. Interest from the wider partners outside of the NAPB and other public bodies for this training has increased. Once the update is complete, the training will be shared to increase its impact across Norfolk and the wider Eastern Region. An external provider has been found to host the elearning in the future to make the elearning more accessible to the public.
Over 1500 Norfolk County Council (NCC) staff members including senior leaders have been trained in either autism basic awareness elearning or the day course ‘Understanding Autism’. Feedback from these courses has been overwhelmingly positive.