The NHS Long Term plan published in early 2019, said there should be a clearer focus on the needs of autistic people and their families. As a result, the NHS England National Autism Team was established in June 2020 to champion the needs and aspirations of autistic children, young people and adults, and to oversee autism related commitments as set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Our plans include:

  • reducing waiting times for autism diagnostic assessments
  • improving the quality of autism diagnostic pathways including pre and post diagnostic support
  • developing and piloting an autism specific health check
  • making sure health services make the reasonable adjustments autistic people need
  • expanding our STOMP and STOMP-STAMP work to stop the overmedication of autistic people
  • working with wider NHS England partners to support, autistic people who have complex needs to have access to a personal health budget
  • supporting the Children and Young People Team, in making sure autistic children who have the most complex needs have a designated keyworker
  • supporting local providers to reduce avoidable admissions to mental health hospitals
  • supporting local providers to plan good quality mental health inpatient services that reduce length of stay, provide person-centred care and are as close to home as possible
  • raising awareness of the importance of employing autistic people, and promoting the NHS as a good place of work

To find out more about the work of our National Autism Team see our team update page.

Working with autistic people and their families

Ensuring autistic people and their families are involved in everything we do across the NHS and wider. Remembering that every autistic person is different. The list below may be a helpful resource in considering the needs of autistic people:

Meeting the needs of autistic adults in mental health services

National guidance on meeting the needs of autistic adults in mental health services has now been published.

Adults diagnosed as autistic now represent a significant and fast-growing number of patients supported by adult mental health services in England. This guidance sets out 10 key principles and provides ICBs and system partners with advice on how to improve the quality, accessibility and acceptability of care and support for autistic adults to meet their mental health needs, both in the community and in inpatient settings.

Good mental health care for autistic adults can be provided by all mental health services. The guidance provides practical examples of how the 10 principles may be applied, to help inform thinking and facilitate discussion; it encourages system partners to engage in strategic thinking about the inter-relationship between different services, to inform commissioning decisions.

This guidance compliments the recently published national guidance to support integrated care boards to commission acute mental health inpatient services for adults with a learning disability and autistic adults and is aimed at all mental health services and system partners.


Alexis Quinn, Lived Experience Advisor in our autism team reflects on her experiences of pregnancy and childbirth as an autistic parent.


How to get involved in our work

Please see get involved page to learn how you can have your say in our work.