Hampshire Autism Partnership Board

The Hampshire Autism Partnership Board is an independent body supported by Hampshire County Council

The Hampshire Autism Partnership Board (HAPB) is a partnership body established in 2010. The aim of the board is to share information, set a clear direction for improved services and shape and monitor local delivery of the Hampshire all-age autism strategy and statutory guidance.

The board has two co-chairs and meet four times a year. Its executive arm is the Autism Steering Group which meet ten times a year and is chaired by the Autism Strategy Lead for Adult Services at Hampshire County Council.

The board includes:

  • autistic experts-by-experience
  • parents
  • carers and service users (Hampshire Autism Voice)
  • representatives from local authorities, education services, employment services and the NHS

For details of previous meetings and the HAPB terms of reference, see: Hampshire Autism Voice.

Responsibilities of local authorities and NHS bodies

The Autism Act requires local authorities to establish meaningful Autism Partnership Boards.

Local authorities and NHS bodies, including integrated care boards and foundation trusts, must follow the Autism Act's statutory guidance, unless there are good reasons for not doing so. This could include justification that they are already providing services that equal or exceed what is set out in the guidance.

Autism Act 2009

The Autism Act 2009 came into force in 2010 and states that there must be a government strategy for improving services for adults with autism, supported by legally binding, statutory guidance for statutory bodies. This includes local authorities, NHS bodies and foundation trusts. The act also requires the Secretary of State to issue statutory guidance on the implementation of any autism strategy.

In 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care published the National Strategy for Autistic Children, Young People and Adults 2021-2026 in conjunction with the Department of Education and NHS England. This updated the national strategy and made clear commitments to those with autism under 18 years old.