By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Speaking in the Senedd Short Debate, ‘Pathways from referrals to diagnosis and beyond: the challenges of living with autism and other neurodivergent conditions’, I stated that “although Autism Spectrum Conditions are not mental health conditions, I continue to hear daily from people with lifelong neurodevelopmental conditions, including Autism, or their families, that Public Bodies have failed to understand individual needs and make adjustments accordingly, causing heightened anxiety and meltdown”.

I added: “Until services are truly designed, delivered and monitored with neurodiverse people, their families and carers, lives will sadly continue to be damaged in this way”.

Six years after the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 came into force (April 6th 2016), placing a specific duty on local authorities to involve people in the design and delivery of their care and support services, I noted that I continue to be contacted by people and carers denied this, and asked the Deputy Minister for Social Services how and when in practice the Welsh Government will begin monitoring the Act's implementation by Public Bodies.

In ME Awareness Week, I called on the Welsh Government to improve the medical provision for people in Wales with ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome), quoting campaigners in Wales who told me “it Is currently very unclear where or how people with ME can obtain treatment for ME in Wales. It is ‘pot luck’ if one finds a GP who has a good understanding and training regarding the condition, and they have nowhere to send patients on to”.

Speaking at the All-Wales Deaf Mental Health and Well-Being Group’s launch of the ‘Deaf People Wales: Hidden Inequalities’ Report, which I sponsored, I expressed concern that Wales is the only UK Country to have no Deaf mental health service and called for this to change.

As a Patron of the British Polio Fellowship, I met them to discuss their plan to develop a Healthcare Pathway for both polio survivors and healthcare professionals to follow.

I Chaired a meeting of the Senedd Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee, joined the first meeting of the new Cross-Party Group on Learning Disability and, as Chair of the Cross-Party Group on Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency, met the Group’s Secretariat.

I also met with NWAMI, Networking for World Awareness of Multicultural Integration, and with my Mentee under the ‘Equal Power Equal Voice’ cross-equalities mentoring programme, and participated in an online education session about the Senedd with pupils from Ysgol Maes-y-Felin, Holywell.

If you need my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.