Tuesday, 21 January 2014

NICE Quality Standard on Autism published

A very short post to bring to your attention the publication of the Quality Standard on Autism (see here) from NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) here in the UK. The press release accompanying publication can be viewed here.

NICE represents the UK (well, most of the UK) attempt at promoting the current and the best in evidence-based medicine when it comes to all manner of health related conditions. Previously they produced initial guidance on 3 strands with autism in mind: (i) pathways to diagnosis for children and young people (see here), (ii) recognition, referral and management for adults on the autism spectrum (see here) and (iii) the management of autism in children and young people (see here). The Quality Standard aims to bring these strands together into a coherent policy also overlapping with the provisions of the landmark Autism Act.

From one point of view, it is indeed a really proud moment that the UK has put pen to paper and published these collected documents. The themes of coordinated services, ensuring appropriate training and competency when it comes to knowledge about autism and including parents and carers in the various decisions made for and on behalf of people with autism are valuable ones. That being said, in this climate of austerity, where cuts are impacting on both finances and services across the board (see here for example) one has to wonder whether these documents will truly positively change the lives of people with autism. Only time will tell...