In April 2014, NHS England confirmed the allocation of £15 million per year for the development of specialised AAC Services in England.
Thirteen AAC services have been identified as partly meeting the service specifications for a specialised service. The information about the services was as a result of the mapping exercise within the Communication Matters Research Matters Project (2010-3), and the Department of Education AAC Grant (2012-3).
These services have been invited to submit business cases to their NHS Area Teams, responsible for commissioning specialised services under NHS England. These business cases are currently been reviewed; it is hoped a decision, in relation to which services have been successful in their bids, will be made in July 2014.
There is a recognised gap in specialised service provision in the East of England. NHS England and the AAC subgroup (advisory group feeding into the Complex Disability Group within NHS England) are meeting with AAC services within this region to ensure that needs are met during this transitional stage.
The Service Specifications have been revised recently: