Ellie Ames 05 December 2023

Autistic adults without care entitlement face 'breakdown'

Autistic adults without care entitlement face breakdown image
Image: Victor FlowerFly / Shutterstock.com

More than 11,000 autistic adults in England are not receiving the care they are legally entitled to, a group of autism charities has found.

Autism Alliance said it means the Care Act 2014, which states that eligible adults must receive support, ‘is being broken daily’.

The group said that autistic adults who miss out on their care entitlement face ‘breakdown’ and inappropriate admission to mental health hospitals.

Autism Alliance’s ‘Breaking Point’ report found that 44% of autistic adults wait more than two years for social care, while 48% of those who do receive care say it does not meet their needs.

The report estimates that closing the gap to provide sufficient care for autistic adults with a moderate learning disability would cost between £70m and £140m – or between 0.4% and 0.7% of current adult social care spend in England.

Autism Alliance urged the Government to either increase spending, or shift funding from crisis inpatient services to community support.

Alex Rook, a human rights lawyer at Rook Irwin Sweeney, said: ‘We are regularly instructed on behalf of autistic adults and/or their families, where local authorities are not meeting their legal duties in accordance with the Care Act, and where a lack of funding appears to be the main obstacle.

‘Autistic people and people with a learning disability often bear the brunt of this lack of funding because their specific needs go unmet.

‘It is clear that at the national level, serious discussion is required about how the social care system can fulfil its functions as defined in the law.’

The new Centre for Young Lives image

The new Centre for Young Lives

Anne Longfield CBE, the chair of the Commission on Young Lives, discusses the launch of the Centre for Young Lives this month.
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