Scrutiny of Health briefing: Autism strategy for North Yorkshire

Public question around an “outdated autism strategy and the plans to remedy an underdeveloped care system in North Yorkshire for Autistic people”.


This briefing is intended to give the Scrutiny of Health Committee reassurance that we are making progress on developing the new “All age strategy for Autism in North Yorkshire”.  


The last autism strategy for North Yorkshire was produced in 2015 “The changing landscape of autism in North Yorkshire 2015- 2020”

Although the strategy for North Yorkshire has lapsed the work has continued to support autistic people in North Yorkshire, we have dedicated officer working hard to achieve the vision that within local communities people with autism can depend on mainstream services, to understand them and treat them fairly as individuals, therefore improving health and wellbeing.

In July 2021, the Government published the new national strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults 2021 to 2026.

The strategy outlines actions under six priority areas:

1.       Improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society

2.       Improving autistic children and young people’s access to education, and supporting positive transitions into adulthood

3.       Supporting more autistic people into employment

4.       Tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people

5.       Building the right support in the community

6.       Improving support within the criminal and youth justice systems

Progress to date

1.       Conducted a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Special Educational Needs and Disabilities 2021

2.       Conducted a Joint strategic Needs Assessment for Learning Disabilities (all ages)

(The Learning Disability topic is linked to the other JSNA topics including Mental Health, End of Life Care, Autism, Sexual Health, and Housing).

3.       Developing a new governance structure to maintain close oversight and scrutiny of this portfolio area of work.

4.       Gathered insight into what is currently available and understanding the population need.

5.       Reviewed our progress against the last strategy and carried forward actions that we did not manage to achieve.

6.       Partnership engagement and planning session for CYPS aspects on priorities

In development 

1.       Developing a whole system-working group that includes expertise from the CYPS, HAS, HNY ICS, Tees ESK and Wear trust and will include a person with lived experience.

2.       Conducting a deep dive to understand the system, challenges, population needs and gaps in service provision as this will help inform our new strategy.

3.       As part of the strategy development, they will be a number of engagement events to give Autistic people, parents, families and carers along with health professional’s opportunities to engage and help shape the new strategy.


We will continue championing this work and we will report to Scrutiny of Health in December 2022 with the findings from the deep dive and a progress update on the planned strategy.


Natalie Smith (Head of HAS population Health Planning) (28th August 2022).