Westminster Health Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244

Autism and learning disabilities care in England - delivering services, supporting parents, carers and individuals and next steps for policy

TO BE PUBLISHED September 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference focuses on key issues for autism and learning disabilities care in England.
We expect discussion on the day to reflect key current issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, looking at:

  • the impact on people with autism and learning disabilities, those delivering care, and the services that are provided;
  • what has been learned from the way individuals, and organisations and their processes, have adapted to the deal with the crisis that can be carried forward for the future, and
  • extra support that will be needed for individuals and organisations in the wake of the crisis.

Key areas for discussion:

  • Progress in implementing goals for learning disabilities and autism in the NHS Long Term Plan;
  • Joining up policy across health, social care and education;
  • Supporting the delivery of services, individuals, carers, residential care providers and families during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Assessing the effectiveness of the current strategy in improving the health and care of autistic people, their families and carers - as well as achieving its key aims;
  • The Learning Disability Mortality Review, and the government response to it, on action to reduce unavoidable and premature deaths; and
  • Integrating care across health and social care and within education and the community - as well as:
    • progress in implementing plans to address the inequality in life expectancy for people with learning disabilities,
    • how services have been delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic, and
    • opportunities for spreading local innovations in care.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • Think Autism, including:
  • Official guidance relating to COVID-19 being issued by:
    • NHS England on supporting patients of all ages who are unwell in mental health, learning disability, autism, dementia and specialist inpatient facilities, and
    • the Department for Health and Social Care for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Government policy announcements on:
    • increased capacity in community care settings for those with learning disabilities and autism - backed by £74m in funding over three years,
    • making discharge from hospital easier - with the aim of delivery through:
      • reforms to the Mental Health Act, and
      • a National Strategy for Disabled People.
    • social care reform - with commitments to seeking cross-party agreement on the way forward, and
    • an NHS Funding Bill - to deliver spending commitments and the NHS Long Term Plan.

The agenda:

  • Next steps for delivering the autism strategy for adults and children;
  • Progress in meeting goals in the NHS Long Term Plan for learning disabilities and autism;
  • Delivering for people with autism and learning disabilities during COVID-19 - continuity of care, supporting families and individuals, and what learnings can be taken forward for the future;
  • Funding, health inequalities and delivering integrated personalised care - the NHS Long Term Plan, priorities for the new strategy, and mitigating the impact of the pandemic;
  • Key issues for parents, carers and individuals: awareness, support and engagement;
  • Education, skills and training - supporting the workforce to deliver services safely and effectively, and implementing the Autism Core Capabilities Framework;
  • Integrating health and education policy;
  • Key issues from CQC review into restraint, seclusion and segregation; and
  • Integrating health and education policy.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by officials from the Cabinet Office; the Department for Education; DWP; the Government Equalities Office; HMPPS; MHCLG; the Department for Transport;  and the National Audit Office.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Health Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates