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Autism Involvement Group (AIG) summary June 2023

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Strategic, Commissioning and System updates ‘Updating our Adult Social Care Vision and Strategies’ 

A member of Devon County Council (DCC) gave AIG attendees an update Devon County Council’s Vision and Strategy on the current status. Waiting for the Cabinet to approve, once this has been done the next step will be to produce a delivery plan to cover the next 5 years; once completed permission has been asked already to share this with AIG members in September.

Reasonable adjustments in a hospital setting – University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

A document was shared at the AIG focusing on reasonable adjustments that is regularly discussed with patients in the Hospital. The forum helps patients work through areas and common difficulties allowing for reasonable adjustments; a list of examples are given to the patient to help them find the best appropriate support for them that best suits their individual needs.

A hospital passport was also shown to AIG members and discussed its purpose of the passport but how it is also linked to the reasonable adjustment form. Patients are asked to fill out the passport as it allows a method of communication to hospital staff members the patients individual needs; feedback on these passports have been very positive from patients, they have also been shared with primary care staff.

Oliver McGowan training

For AIG members who may not of known the reasoning by this training, a brief background and origin story of Oliver McGowan about how he sadly passed due to being misdiagnosed and given unnecessary anti-psychotic medication; as a result Oliver’s mother began campaigning for better treatment for people with learning disabilities and Autism when attending medical care at the hospital. Section 181 of Health and Care Act now states that anybody working in social care environment must have training with learning disabilities and Autism.

The training will provided by project teams that have been appointed by each county, Devon pilot project team only have 3 people so it is a very small team. The key element in the project that it is done co-productively and being delivered by experts. There will be two tiers of training which will be dependent on the role the person is in.

Dimensions for Autism (DFA)

An update on the DFA  group activity was discussed at the AIG, it was noted having online groups now being set up have been valuable as it allows more flexibility in how and when the groups take place.

DFA attended this years Respect festival, the last time the group attended this event was 4 years ago. Large number of people came up to the stand to talk about their own personal experience. DFA members handed out alert cards to both teenagers and adults.