Caudwell Children CEO, Trudi Beswick pictured at the Caudwell International Children's Centre

Responding to the government white paper on reforming the Mental Health Act, published today by the Department of Health and Social Care, Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, said:

“The proposals set out in the white paper represent a step forward to improve the provision of support for everyone who needs it – and that can only be a good thing.

“Inequalities have been deepened in many ways by the Covid-19 pandemic, so it’s encouraging to see a plan in place to update the law and give people a stronger say over their futures.

“I am particularly heartened by the specific steps set out to ensure that autism or a learning disability cannot be a reason for detaining someone under the act.

“In my 20 years as CEO of a disabled children’s charity we have strived, and continue to do so, to champion autistic people and their right to be accepted and included in society.

“That experience has given me first-hand insight into the positive impact that timely assessment, diagnosis and intervention can have on the lives of autistic children and young people.

“That’s why we created a cutting-edge Autism Service at our purpose-built Caudwell International Children’s Centre in Staffordshire – to provide more young people, and their families, with access to those potentially life-changing services.

“I hope that the white paper published today represents a significant milestone on the road to creating a more inclusive society that better understands, and embraces, the neurodiversity of young people as they enter adulthood.

“It is important that consultation with young people, parents and carers informs the government’s next steps, to ensure that these sensible reforms pass through the parliamentary process to become law.”

More information about Caudwell Children’s Autism Service here.

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