Childrens Diagnosis of Autism

We have been contacted by numerous people with concerns about the future of Childrens Autism diagnostic services.
Man smiling with his two young children

As a result we have contacted the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group regarding these concerns and the response is as follows:

The Clinical Commissioning Group has been made aware that ADRC as an organisation is intending to cease trading from the end of September 2017 and we have been working very closely with ADRC to ensure that the service currently provided continues so that all families currently in the system remain in the system and get, where appropriate, the diagnostic assessment sought.

The Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) remains committed to commissioning an Autism diagnosis service for children and young people that meets their needs and that complies with guidance issued by NICE. Therefore the CCG is aiming to continue to commission an assessment and diagnostic service with the support of the current Lead Clinician - Dr Tony Brown and is working with him, ADRC and the IOW NHS Trust towards reducing the current backlog of referrals as well as to maintain and improve the current pathway for all referrals.

The pathway to diagnosis, in line with NICE guidance will now be through the child's GP who will assess the child and if concerns persist following application of a screening tool, they will refer the child to be reviewed by a paediatrician. The screening tool is in place currently so families should notice no change.

The pathway is therefore as follows:-

The GP will refer children younger than 3 years and there is a concern with regard to development of language and or social skills or is of any age and there is a concern with regard to development of motor skills, the GP will refer first to a paediatrician.

If the paediatrician on assessment feels that ASD might be indicated they will then refer the child or young person to the Autism assessment and diagnostic service.

Due to a large number of referrals creating a backlog, it is likely that there may be a waiting period until an assessment can be scheduled.  The CCG and the IOW NHS Trust, as well as ADRC are working closely together to reduce waiting times and provide a service within 18 weeks wherever this is possible, however the thoroughness of the assessment process is key to ensuring the best service possible to children and families.

Please be assured that if children or young people have been referred, then the service will endeavour to see you as soon as possible, however the wide ranging number of referral sources have led to an unprecedented number of referrals, and this has led to time being needed to screen these referrals to ensure that only those that need the full ASD diagnostic are referred to Dr Brown. The CCG remains committed to supporing children and their families and we would like to reassure all families that ASD is a priority that we are seeking to address.

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