Use the 'next' button to view the Autism Strategy page by page.

In developing this Strategy, we felt it was important to directly link our strategic aims to the National Strategy. 

We have therefore used the same 6 themes:

Themes from the National Strategy

  1. improving understanding and acceptance of autism within society
  2. improving autistic children and young people’s access to education, and supporting positive transitions into adulthood
  3. supporting more autistic people into employment
  4. tackling health and care inequalities for autistic people
  5. building the right support in the community and supporting people in inpatient care
  6. improving support within the criminal and youth justice systems

We are aware that Local Authorities, providers and commissioners will also be linking their local strategies to the National Strategy. We are confident that by presenting our Autism Strategy in this way, we can support delivery of the strategies of our partners and contribute to achievement of the aims in the National Strategy.

At the end of our Strategy, we have provided our milestones.  We will co-produce measures of success to reach these Milestones so that we measure improvements by what is important to autistic people, their families and carers.  We want to be clear about what we expect to achieve by 2027, where we have made a difference and where we need to continue to improve.  

It is important to recognise that our Strategy also reflects the NHS Long Term Plan in relation to mental health support as well as two NHS-led national programmes which relate to the experiences of people with Autism and/ or Intellectual Disability. 

We need to recognise the importance of the concerns raised about the inpatient care and treatment of people with Intellectual Disability (some of whom who had co-morbid autism) at Winterbourne View, Whorlton Hall and, most recently, Cawston Park.  

The NHS Long Term Plan aims to improve and widen access to mental health support for children and adults.  Key aims of this programme are:

  • To make it easier and quicker for people of all ages to receive mental health crisis care around the clock, 365 days of the year
  • To expand specialist mental health care for mothers during and following pregnancy, with mental health assessments offered to partners so they can be signposted to services for support if they need it
  • Expand services, including through schools and colleges, so that an extra 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 can get support when they need it, in ways that work better for them
  • Continue to develop services in the community and hospitals, including talking therapies and mental health liaison teams, to provide the right level of care for hundreds of thousands more people with common or severe mental illnesses.

Specifically, in relation to autistic people, the Long Term Plan makes a commitment to:

  • develop a clearer and more widespread focus on the needs of autistic people and their families, starting with autistic children with the most complex needs
  • improve community-based support so that people can lead lives of their choosing in homes not hospitals; further reducing our reliance on specialist hospitals, and strengthening our focus on children and young people
  • make sure that all NHS commissioned services are providing good quality health, care and treatment to people with an intellectual disability and autistic people and their families. NHS staff will be supported to make the changes needed (reasonable adjustments) to make sure people with an intellectual disability and autistic people get equal access to, experience of and outcomes from care and treatment
  • reduce health inequalities, improving uptake of annual health checks, reducing over-medication through the Stopping the Over-Medication of children and young People with an intellectual  disability, autism or both (STOMP) and Supporting Treatment and Appropriate Medication in Paediatrics (STAMP) programmes and taking action to prevent avoidable deaths through learning from deaths reviews (LeDeR)
  • continue to champion the insight and strengths of people with lived experience and their families in all of our work and become a model employer of people with an intellectual disability and of autistic people
  • make sure that the whole NHS has an awareness of the needs of people with an intellectual disability and autistic people, working together to improve the way it cares, supports, listens to, works with and improves the health and wellbeing of them and their families.

STOMP is the term used to describe a national NHS programme aimed at stopping the over medication of people with intellectual disability, autism, or both.

STAMP is the term used to describe a related programme aimed at supporting treatment and appropriate medication in paediatrics. 

Children and young people with an intellectual disability, autism or both are more likely to be given medication (including psychotropic medication) than other children and young people.

STOMP aims to stop the overuse of psychotropic medications people with an intellectual disability, autism or both. It is about helping autistic people, and those with intellectual disabilities, to stay well and have a good quality life. If individuals do need psychotropic medication, it should be regularly reviewed to make sure it is still the right thing for them, and they do not stay on the medication for longer than is necessary.

STAMP aims to make sure that children and families can access other treatment and support when children display behaviours that challenge, for example approaches along the principles of Positive Behaviour Support or other therapeutic support.  It is important to recognise that autistic people respond differently to therapeutic support and these need to be selected carefully to meet the needs of the individual.

Sometimes when children and young people do need medication it can be difficult to make sure they are always able to get it when they need it. STAMP is about making sure where medication will help children and young people to have a good life, barriers are removed. What are psychotropic medications? Psychotropic medications are used to treat mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis. Sometimes these medications are given to children and young people because of distressing responses that challenge others. These medications can be right for some children and young people in some situations and can help them live a good life. However, there are other ways of helping children and young people so that sometimes they need less medication or none at all.

STOMP and STAMP want to make sure that individuals and their families get the other support they need. This might mean they are less likely to need psychotropic medication or need it for a shorter time. Psychotropic medication should not be used instead of support and therapeutic treatment.

At CWP, the principles of STOMP and STAMP are core to our services, and we are committed to delivering this agenda for all autistic people.

Transforming Care is national programme for people with intellectual disability and/ or autism.  It is all about improving health and care services so that more people can live in the community, with the right support, and close to home.  The programme’s national plan,  Building the Right Support, was published in October 2015. There are a range of supporting documents which relate to the programme.

Learn more about each of our aims by clicking the buttons below:

​ We also recognise that some of our strategic aims relate to work we have direct control over as an organisation, while some involve working in partnership across communities.  To make this distinction clear when we describe how we will work towards this, we have used the following icons:


Aims which are our responsibility to lead and deliver within our own organisation - recognising that these will be co-produced with autistic people

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Aims which we will work with partners to deliver across the wider community

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Artwork by Abi Kelly


CWP Pledges

  • Improve the use of psychotropic medication
  • Explore alternatives to medication
  • Ensure people are fully informed
  • Easy read information
  • Understanding the data
  • Improving care
  • Encourage people to speak up
  • Learning from lives and deaths of people with a learning disability and autistic people (LeDeR)