A national autism strategy and implementation plan is expected by the end of this year, according to the health minister.

It will detail the current services and support already available in the island for people with autism spectrum conditions as well as outline plans to address areas which need changing.

Lawrie Hooper told the House of Keys this week that the consultation appealing for views from the community closed on June 10.

It was open from April 29 and during that time, seven face-to-face drop in sessions were held by the Department of Health and Social Care.

He said analysis of the findings had already commenced with an intention to publish the strategy by the end of the calendar year.

Former Health Minister David Ashford said the DHSC was ‘never short of strategies’ but implementation plans were ‘always lacking’.

He wanted reassurance this wouldn’t be just another ‘stodgy document’ but a plan with defined targets, as proposals for an autism strategy had ‘dragged on for years’.

Mr Hooper said: ‘I can assure this is being taken seriously. The original path finder report was published in 2020, Covid then disrupted this, so it’s now a priority for the department.

‘We have assigned some political oversight to this because it’s critical we get this right, so [Douglas East MHK Joney] Faragher will lead on bringing this forward.’

Ayre and Michael MHK Tim Johnston was concerned about housing, asking if thought and planning had gone into providing facilities for people with autism.

The minister said he was aware of suggestions on independent living and housing from the consultation.