13.1 Corinne Moocarme (Joint Commissioning Lead, Community Support and Care, CCG/LBL) and Laura Harper (Housing, Health and Social Care Integration Project Manager, LBL) presented a six-monthly update on the local implementation of the National Autism Strategy, focusing on the main areas of the Self Assessment where Lewisham had rated itself amber.
13.2 In particular, there was an emphasis on the specific identification of adults with autism in the local housing strategy and more detail on how Lewisham Housing is working to identify a range of housing to support residents with particular needs.
13.3 The following points were raised or highlighted in the discussion:
· Lewisham is looking to establish a community that accepts and understands autism and which has an infrastructure that provides opportunities for adults with autism/Asperger’s syndrome to live fulfilling and rewarding lives.
· The Self Assessment Framework (SAF—for 2013) provided an opportunity to recognise Lewisham’s achievements, take stock of the Borough’s current position, and understand where further work was required.
· There were 17 questions in the Self Assessment Framework (SAF). Lewisham rated itself green on 6 questions and amber on the remaining 11. There were no red ratings. Some of the main areas rated amber requiring further work to progress were:
- The inclusion of autism in the local Joint Strategic Needs Assessment
- Improving the data collected regarding numbers of adults with autism in the borough
- The level of information about local support in the area being accessible to people with autism
- Promotion of employment of people with autism.
- Specific identification of adults with Autism in the local housing strategy
· Presentation and discussion of the SAF in November 2013 provided an opportunity to ensure autism was on the Health and Wellbeing Board agenda, and the request to provide regular updates was welcomed.
· This update coincided with the publication of Think Autism and the launch of the Autism Innovation Fund. Further updates will be provided as work progresses in these areas.
· Autism has now been included in the local Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and data collected regarding numbers of adults in the Lewisham is being improved.
· The Housing and Autism Project Group has been reinstated and met twice in 2014. Meetings are planned for the remainder of the year at six-weekly intervals.
13.4 The following points were raised or highlighted in the discussion:
· Some of the amber-rated areas had been amalgamated within in the report.
· In response to a query from Nickie Roome (Campaign in Lewisham for Autism Spectrum Housing—CLASH) about the possible creation of an Autism Partnership Board in the Borough, the following observations were offered:
- Corinne Moocarme currently corresponds informally with a pool of people who support the work on autism. A group could be convened to support this area of work.
- There is a need for caution regarding the possible proliferation of partnership boards, appreciating that specific arrangements around particular tasks or agendas may not always require the oversight of a formal board.
13.5 The Board:
1. Noted the content of the Progress Report on Implementing the National Autism Strategy “Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives” in Lewisham;
2. Approved the local implementation work, and
3. Agreed for another update to be submitted in January 2015.