National Autism Project – Progress Report – September/October 2016

NAP is now in its busiest period ever with the report to write, workshops to hold and launch meetings to organise. Throughout this period, meetings have continued to take place with key players in the autism field from government and funding bodies in order to stimulate interest in NAP and to get feedback on our emerging ideas.

The four workshops to look at implementation pathways for our recommendations will take place on November 10th (Belfast), November 16th (Alloa), November 23rd (London) and November 24th (Cardiff), a busy two weeks for the NAP staff who will need to ensure that the outputs from these meetings are included in the draft NAP report by the end of the month. The help provided by the respective charities in each nation has been enormous and the response to the invitations has been very positive so we are hopeful that the meetings will be a success.

In parallel, our partners at Incisive Health have been working on the launch meetings in January and February and we have recently found a date for Northern Ireland which will be February 14th in Belfast. Dates for Scotland and Wales will be agreed soon. The London launch, as previously announced, will be on January 17th.

The report itself is now quite well advanced, with draft versions of many of the sections completed: the introductory material, the four core principles, the policy landscape in the four nations of the UK, the methods of working, the meaning of evidence, and the recommendations themselves. Some more information on the principles and draft recommendations can be seen in the report of the fourth Strategy Board meeting on this website, but as these are still in draft form we are not able to provide more detail at this stage. A tough timetable lies ahead requiring completion of the draft report by the end of November, and agreement on the final version, its endorsement by the many contributors to the project and approval of the report design by mid December. In early January, we expect printing to be completed ready for the launch meetings. Incisive Health will be orchestrating a media and political campaign to coincide with the launches which will continue throughout 2017.

Ian Ragan
November 2016

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