May 27, 2017

Autism diagnoses 'could be reduced under NHS plan'

Proposals to reduce the number of children being diagnosed with autism are being considered by NHS commissioners in south-west London. Board papers from a meeting of south-west London and St George's mental health trust a fortnight ago describe a service under intense pressure, with waiting times for autism diagnoses of more than 10 months. The papers state that NHS commissioners, who fund services, have asked the trust to review who is eligible for the service - so they focus specifically on children who have another illness such as depression. "An autism diagnosis can be life changing. It can explain years of feeling different and help unlock crucial advice and support." SEND Family Voices, the parent/carer forum in Kingston and Richmond, said: "The sense is that these proposals have been agreed, without due consultation with any of the stakeholders - and more importantly, without consideration of the impact upon families, children and young people."

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