Westminster Health Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7951044809.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk or by calling the above number.

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

September 2020


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


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


This conference focuses on key issues for autism and learning disabilities care in England, bringing together key stakeholders with policymakers.


The discussion at a glance:


  • the NHS Long Term Plan - progress in implementing key goals for learning disabilities and autism
  • policy coordination - looking across health, social care and education, with the Government due to publish the findings of its review into support for children with SEN in the autumn
  • current strategy - assessing its effectiveness in improving the health and care of autistic people, their families and carers - as well as priorities for achieving its key aims
  • integrating care - across health and social care, and within education and the community - as well as opportunities for spreading local innovations in care
  • avoidable and premature deaths - progress and priorities following the Learning Disability Mortality Review and the government’s response and progress in implementing plans to address the inequality in life expectancy for people with learning disabilities

The COVID-19 pandemic - examining key issues:


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

The agenda:


  • Progress in meeting goals in the NHS Long Term Plan for learning disabilities and autism
  • Delivering for autistic people 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 for CQC’s review into restraint, seclusion and segregation
  • Next steps for delivering the autism strategy for adults and children

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:


  • Think Autism - the review of the strategy expected later this year, which will include children as well as adults for the first time:
    • priorities for improving the health, care and wellbeing of autistic people, their families and carers
    • proposals to inform a new national cross-government strategy
  • COVID-19 - official guidance on supporting autistic inpatients and people in care
  • 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, funding to support accelerated discharges into the community, creation of a new independent oversight panel to improve care and support for inpatients with learning disabilities or autism, 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
    • an NHS Funding Bill - to deliver spending commitments and the NHS Long Term Plan
  • case reviews - for all inpatients with a learning disability or autism in mental health hospitals announced by DHSC
  • skills - HEE’s Autism Core Capabilities Framework for health and care staff, and action points to improve education and training following DHSC’s consultation
  • a new NHS taskforce - being set up to improve children’s mental health, learning disabilities and autism care, with a focus on ensuring services are better joined up with schools and councils

Policy officials attending:


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


It’s certainly the case with this conference. Places have been reserved by officials from DHSC; the Department for Education; DWP; MHCLG; the Cabinet Office; the Government Equalities Office; HMPPS; the Department for Transport; the Home Office; the Ministry of Justice; 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



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles