The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is to produce quality standards for the care of those with autism. NICE quality standards set out what the Institute calls “aspirational but achievable care through measurable statements and indicators.”
The move is part of the expansion of NICE’s remit to include social care. The Department of Health has agreed an initial list of joint NHS/social care topics for NICE to start working on. In addition to autism, these will include transition between health and social care, child maltreatment and transition between children and adult services, as well as other areas primarily affecting older people.
The move follows proposals set out in the recent Care and Support White Paper to improve the quality of care and support, integrate services and ensure a more consistent approach across the country.
NICE will seek to develop a stronger evidence base to determine what high-quality care looks like for service users, care providers and those commissioning services. The agency will consult with the care and support sector, people using care and support, and their families and carers, before publishing its standards for autism in 2013/14.