Give NHS staff autism training to improve care, says government

Physiotherapy staff should be trained to identify patients with autism and adjust the treatment or care provided.


ACPPLD chair Jenny Tinkler: 'Healthcare staff working in mainstream services should have an understanding of autism'

That is the message in an updated strategy for adults with autism in England, published by the Department of Health on 14 January.

Think Autism outlines a number of reforms that aim to help people with autism live as full and independent lives as possible.

These include plans to

  • provide general autism awareness training to all frontline NHS staff who might come in contact with adults with autism
  • enable the Health and Care Professions Council to determine the level of autism awareness training that professionals should receive in education and training programmes

Jenny Tinkler, chair of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists for People with Learning Disabilities, told Frontline: ‘We welcome any initiative that raises awareness of learning disabilities and autism.

‘Healthcare staff working in mainstream services should have an understanding of autism, be aware of the impact it can have on somebody attending appointments and realise the importance of making reasonable adjustments.’

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