Mike Hedges welcomes news that an Independent evaluation finds National Integrated Autism Service is providing a much needed and valued service and that the service has now opened in Western Bay and West Wales.

Mike Hedges welcomes news that an Independent evaluation finds National Integrated Autism Service is providing a much needed and valued service and that the service has now opened in Western Bay and West Wales.

Speaking after the release of the report, Swansea East AM Mike Hedges AM said… ‘this evaluation is good news; I have met many people with family members who are autistic and they have related many sad tales of lack of joint up thinking and service provision which has complicated access to services. This integrated Autism Service is working and making a real difference to people’s lives. This is why I am so pleased that it is now working in Western Bay and West Wales. I hope that this service continues to make a difference to the lives of my constituents in the years ahead.’

The Welsh Government is continuing to invest in the development of new and innovative autism services to improve autism provision. To ensure the reforms are achieving the results Welsh Government commissioned an independent evaluation.

The review involved interviews and discussions with autistic adults some of whom are also parents of children with autism, and family members and carers.

The evaluation found that the Integrated Autism Service, established in Cardiff and Vale, Cwm Taf, Gwent and Powys is providing a much needed and valued service. Services in West Wales and Western Bay have now opened.

It also found that there are consistent diagnostic pathways for adults to the IAS, although further work is needed to clarify pathways to other services, such as mental health.

The evaluation also showed that the IASs have increased the capacity and quality of assessment and diagnosis services for adults. Improvements to the capacity and quality of children’s assessment and diagnosis services have been made, through the establishment of new children’s Neurodevelopmental (ND) Services.

The evaluation found that prospects for the future are encouraging, provided services can cope with demand, retain staff and secure funding for the service beyond 2021.