Councils to take on specific autism role

Councils will have a duty to provide specific care for autism sufferers after a new law was passed by the House of Lords. The Autism Bill will become the first ever disability specific law after it was passed yesterday.

The bill, which started as a private members bill put forward by the Cheryl Gillan MP for the National Autism Society, has support from all parties.

Under the new law the Government’s forthcoming adult autism strategy will be legally enforceable and must be published within the next six months. New responsibilities the NHS and local authorities will be expected to fulfil will include providing diagnostic services for adults with autism and better training for health and social care staff.

Ms Gillan said; ‘I’d like to thank everyone for their support. It is extremely rare that a Private Members’ Bill goes on to become law, so this is a triumph for people with autism and their families. It’s a real testament to the overwhelming level of parliamentary support for this chronically excluded group. I hope it will make the crucial difference in their lives that people with autism need and deserve.’