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All Age Norfolk Autism Partnership Board

Norfolk County Council, clinical commissioning groups and their partners want to listen to autistic people and their families.

Working with autistic people, the Norfolk Autism Partnership Board (NAPB) have created an All-Age Autism Strategy called My Autism, Our Lives, Our Norfolk.

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.

About the NAPB

This decision-making board drives 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. We take feedback from and deliver plans to a number of 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 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 enable autistic people to be fully included in society.

If you'd like to get involved in our work, email autism@norfolk.gov.uk.

NAPB working groups

The NAPB working groups oversee the implementation of the plans set out by the NAPB. These groups are inclusive and involve experts by experience, parents and carers. Every member of a 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.

Working group updates

The data collection 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.

We completed the Norfolk Autism Self-Assessment exercise in December 2018. We'll analyse the data from this exercise and this will tell us which areas Norfolk needs to focus on and prioritise with its plans.

The diagnostic pathways working group oversees the delivery of a transparent autism diagnostic pathway that can be clearly understood and has waiting times within NICE guidelines.

The Adult Diagnosis Service was offered to Norfolk Community Health and Care to continue to deliver the contact for an additional year.

In addition, they are to put in place pre- and post-support services for those waiting for a diagnosis or who have been diagnosed with autism.

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 webpage.

The children’s pathways to getting an assessment for autism vary greatly between areas. For further information see our Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) page.

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 a plan to improve all current pathways.

The diagnosis working group will deliver a new service specification and supply and demand model based on RethinkPartners findings to purchase a new service to start from 1 April 2020.

The engagement working group seeks new ways to raise awareness of autism and communicate our message to others.

The group have drafted a plan that sets out how the NAPB will communicate with autistic people and their families/carers in the future.

It states how we will make sure we involve autistic people and their families/carers in decisions that affect them.

The plan talks about how we will talk to everyone currently involved in the NAPB and NAPG to identify how they would prefer to be kept up to date and involved in our work.

The workforce development working group oversees the development of approaches to achieve autism awareness across Norfolk.

It is currently focussing on the development of learning and training programmes.

A co-produced autism elearning module is available to all Norfolk County Council social care staff.

The working group is looking at costing models to roll out this elearning to a wider audience which could include the constabulary, criminal justice, schools, and GPs, among others.

The training provider Ambitious about Autism has also been commissioned to deliver specialist face-to-face training to social care staff.

The one-day training course is being co-produced with autistic people and aims to roll out across the council from July.

The working group’s next steps are to explore the best way to evaluate the success of both training courses and put in place a continuous improvements programme.

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