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South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System (SYB ICS) has completed a one year review of its work supporting the region’s autism communities.  

Since October 2019, SYB ICS has delivered on a range of progressive and awareness raising activities to improve the lives of people living with autism, their families and carers, including professional workshops, focus groups and workforce training events.

The catalyst for the year in review started with well-attended stakeholder engagement event held at Rotherham United Football Club’s AESSEAL New York Stadium.

Taking place on World Mental Health Day (10 October 2019), over 80 delegates attended from NHS, voluntary sector and social care organisations came together to learn more about regional initiatives, share best practice and co-create on some new ideas for future development. Members from the autism community also attended to share their insights of accessing support, engaging with NHS services and share their day-to-day experiences.

We were also proud to have been able to premier an original film ‘Living with Autism - Healthcare Experiences of Patients and Carers’ which provided an unfiltered view of the real issues and boundaries that the autism community have experienced. 

The conversations from this workshop event continued in our next event; ‘My Health Day’ took place in February 2020 with excellent representation (90+ people) from across our regional health and care organisations, alongside members of the autism community.

These events provided important foundations for the ICS to broaden its partnership network, to hear from new community voices and establish new working groups to develop new resources.

Aside from strengthening our alliances with key partners from the autism community including Sheffield Sparkle, Say It and Speak Up, SYB ICS has also submitted an expression of interest to NHS England and NHS Improvement to support a Children and Young People’s (CYP) Key Worker Pilot. This new Pilot is likely to enhance the care offered to young people living with autism.

Principally, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, SYB ICS has continued to remain in-touch with the autism community and our partnership networks. In doing so, we have ensured that positive change and progression continues to take place across the pathway, and crucially, remains an integral part of the ICS’ commitment to protect our most vulnerable and isolated communities.