A new recommendation from NICE (the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) seeks to improve autistic people’s experiences of GP services in England. It encourages GPs to record someone’s autism diagnosis, in a step that The National Autistic Society believes could help to tackle the unacceptable health inequality faced by autistic people.

We believe this will make it easier for GPs to know when they are about to see an autistic person and make small changes that can help make sure they get the care and support they need. This could mean making sure the GP explains everything in a clear and understandable way, preparing someone for a medical procedure with more information, or trying hard to begin the appointment on time.

Across a GP practice, doctors will also be able to check that their records have the number of autistic people they would expect (an estimated one in 100 people are on the autism spectrum). They will also be able to check that autistic people in their practice are getting the health care that everyone else gets. Across England, this information could be used anonymously to make better decisions about what services and support are needed.

The National Autistic Society welcomes this news. It is something we have been campaigning for over many years, along with many people and organisations, including the Royal College of GPs. In a survey carried out by the Westminster Autism Commission, it was also supported by 95% of autistic people and their family members….