West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) has launched a survey for autistic people to tell us whether they experience barriers to access when trying to use urgent, emergency or crisis care services for a physical or mental health need.
The survey has been created and tested with autistic people so that it is easy to use and yields the highest quality information. The partnership will use the information gained to develop and improve the way services are delivered to autistic people by a variety of health and care providers across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
On average, autistic adults in England face significant health inequality, poorer access to healthcare and die 16 years earlier than the general population. However, disability or diagnosis is not the reason for this inequality; instead it is the result of services not meeting people’s needs. For autistic people it can be difficult to stay well and get help when it is needed.
Dr Sara Munro, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism; and CEO for Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “Working with autistic people to ensure that urgent and crisis services are appropriate and easily accessible for neuro-diverse people will help us to identify ways to improve access either by sharing good practice or by testing new ways of working.
“At the same time, we are working to make all of our services for neuro-diverse adults, which includes people with autism and/or ADHD, more consistent across all of our places in West Yorkshire and Harrogate, so that the approach to assessment and support for physical and mental health needs is the same for everybody, wherever they live.”
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership aims to reduce the gap in life expectancy for autistic people, people with learning disabilities and people with mental health conditions by 10% by 2024. Achieving this ambition will make life better for more than 200 000 people living in West Yorkshire and Harrogate.