Cabinet Secretary visits North Wales Integrated Autism Service
Cllr Christine Jones, Cabinet Member for Flintshire County Council Social Services welcomes the Cabinet Secretary
The North Wales Integrated Autism Service (IAS) was delighted to welcome Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Services, Vaughan Gething to their drop-in at Llangefni Jobcentre Plus recently.
It was a great opportunity to speak with autistic individuals, IAS staff and partners about the service and hopes for the future.
The IAS is jointly hosted between health and social care with strong links to education. North Wales IAS offers continuity of support for autistic individuals through the various transitions in their lives, and helps people achieve the things that are important to them. The service is for individuals who do not have moderate to severe mental health or learning disability.
At the drop-ins, autistic individuals, their families, carers, or other services will be able to access information about autism and what is available in their local area. The link workers are able to provide information and advice or support individuals to access other services, based on the needs of those attending. The drop-ins are held in community venues over North Wales, enabling individuals to access them close to home.
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said:
“It was great to see the work being carried out at the North Wales Integrated Autism Service. The Welsh Government has invested £13 million in the new National Integrated Autism Service, to address gaps in support identified by autistic people and their parents and carers. This new all age service is designed to enhance existing services and includes a new adult diagnostic service and person-centred post-diagnostic support.”
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said:
“This visit has given the Health Secretary the opportunity to gain a better insight into the North Wales Integrated Autism Service, the wonderful work it does, as well as how it will interact with other existing services that work with autistic individuals and their families across North Wales.”
Willow Holloway and Liz Darcy, of the Autistic Women’s empowerment project, said:
“I was expecting to just get the opportunity to introduce myself and say a few words but ended up having a long intense conversation with Vaughan Gething and managed to discuss how I felt that there needed to be ongoing engagement to ensure more autistic voices are heard and that co-production with the autistic community would increase understanding. We also got to cover many of areas of concern that have been raised by the female autistic community.”
North Wales based Daniel M Jones, of the popular youtube channel @TheAspieWorld, said:
“Many people have been waiting a long time for the IAS. There are so many people who need support and advice, but have not been able to find it on a local level. It’s great that the IAS are looking to meet individual needs and integrate in to the community using established networks. It’s much needed and has been a long time coming, and although it’s in its infancy, as it grows it will help a large amount of people in North Wales.”
Discussion between Neil Ayling - Chief Officer, Social Services, Flintshire County Council, Andy Roach – Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Christine Burns - IAS Practitioner Manager, North Wales Integrated Autism Service, Cllr Llinos Medi, Leader and Social Services portfolio holder, Vaughan Gething, Willow Holloway and Liz Darcy - The Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project and Daniel M Jones