Funding proposals for autism one stop shops: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00256
Date received: 30 January 2018
Date responded: 23 February 2018

Information requested

Can you confirm this information is correct or have i been misinformed? I would like to request to view all information held on the funding proposals for autism one stop shops beyond March 2018.


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because an exemption under section 30 of FOISA applies to that information. The reasons why that exemption applies are explained in below.

However, the following information has been provided as standard to individuals who have asked the Scottish Government about funding for One Stop Shops.

You may be aware that the one stop shop model was initially funded by the Scottish Government from the autism strategy as a pilot to ensure autistic people receive the support they need following an autism assessment. There was an expectation that six One Stop Shops would be embedded in local strategic delivery plans and become sustainable in each locality by the end of government funding. Previously NHS Highland has contributed part-funding of £50,000 towards the service. However, discussions on funding for 2018/19 resulted initially in a lower offer being made; this offer has since been withdrawn in light of NHS Highland's current financial situation. This has led Autism Initiatives, in turn, to consider the future viability of the service.

I recognise the positive impact it has had on the autistic people in the community. I would agree with you that it is a much valued service which is remarkable value in terms of money saved in other service areas.

Ms Watt the Minister for Mental Health has recently written to NHS Highland to ask them to reconsider providing a contribution to enable the service to continue; however, you will appreciate that Integration Joint Boards (IJBs) are responsible for the strategic planning and decision making for all services delegated to them, including services for autistic people, in line with their statutory obligations and Scottish Government policy. Health and Social Care Partnerships are responsible for the delivery of local services based on the planning decisions by Integration Joint Boards and are therefore responsible for the implementation of local autism strategies and action plans. I'm also aware that in December NHS Highland put its revised autism action plan out for consultation. You may wish to engage with NHS Highland on this.

I share your concerns and that of a growing number of correspondents that autism services in Highland are under threat and please be assured Ministers and officials are working together with NHS Highland and Autism Initiatives to find a suitable solution.

Reasons for not providing information

Exemption under section 30 of FOISA applies to that information - The free and frank exchange of views for the purpose of deliberation. This is because discussions are on-going and any release of information may prejudice these discussions.

About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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